Alimony is a payment that is made from one spouse to the other during the divorce and in some cases, for a short time after. Very rarely is permanent alimony awarded. Many people assume that it is the husband who is ordered to pay alimony to the wife after a divorce, but is this always true? Or can a husband get alimony in Maryland?
Maryland Has Equal Rights
When provisions for alimony were written into Maryland law in the 1980’s, Maryland adopted an equal rights policy that allowed either the husband or the wife to seek alimony and for it to be awarded if the court finds that alimony is necessary. This means that if the criteria are met, a husband can most certainly receive alimony payments from the wife during the divorce and potentially for a time after the divorce is settled.
Under What Circumstances Is Alimony Awarded?
Typically, if the wife was the primary wage earner during the marriage and the husband was not, the husband may be able to seek alimony temporarily while he learns how to live independently outside of the marriage. How long alimony will be awarded for depends on how quickly it is reasonable for the husband to become self sufficient. Will the husband need additional schooling or job training in order to become independent? Often, alimony is awarded during the separation and the divorce proceedings, but ends when the divorce is made final. In some cases, however, alimony continues.
Indefinite or Permanent Alimony
In rare cases, the court may see a need for alimony to be paid long term. If, for example, the husband is elderly or is disabled and cannot be expected to find gainful employment or support himself, the wife may be ordered to pay alimony indefinitely. Even if the husband is able to support himself in some way, alimony may still be ordered indefinitely if the wife’s standard of living is considered to be “unconscionably disparate” from what the husband can achieve on his own.
When to Talk to an Alimony Attorney
If you are a husband in Maryland and are considering requesting alimony, it’s important that you discuss this with an attorney as soon as possible. If you do not request alimony before the divorce is finalized, you waive your right to obtain alimony at all. Contact the Family Legal Advocacy Group, LLC today to learn more about your rights to alimony and if you may be eligible to file. Call now at (410) 884-0400.