Am I Entitled to Alimony?

Am I Entitled to Alimony?

When two spouses part ways, one may begin struggling financially to keep up on bills related to necessities of living, including things like paying for rent, food, clothing, and medical care. The intention of alimony is for one spouse to help financially support the other, particularly in times of separation and/or divorce. When one spouse encounters financial hardship after the split, the main question to discuss with a divorce lawyer in Rockville, MD may be whether he or she is entitled to alimony. 

Q: What factors may the court consider when deciding alimony?

A: There are a couple of main factors that the court considers before awarding spouse alimony, including whether there is a financial need for the monetary support and whether the other spouse has the capability to provide these funds. In most states, the court uses these two considerations when establishing an alimony court order.

Q: What information may I need to submit to the court?

A: Family law legalities can vary by state, but in general there are a few topics of information the court is likely to inquire about when determining the terms of alimony if the request is approved. It is often recommended that spouses who want to seek alimony talk with a family law attorney for guidance and advice. An attorney can review legal documentation before submittal, in addition to helping organize the information you need to present to the court. Overall, information the courts may request can include but aren’t limited to the following:

  • Financial Records: items like bills, expenses, groceries, personal care costs, and statements for income. It can help to get information about your spouse’s financial status too. An attorney can help you conduct a discovery, which is a method of getting details from another person through a court case. If your spouse has extra income compared to your monetary deficit, it can help increase your chances of being awarded alimony. 
  • Education Level: the court may determine that one spouse needs alimony if there is a significant discrepancy in education level. One spouse may have earned a degree that permits him or her to have a much larger income than the other. Or, a stay-at-home parent who was primarily responsible for raising children may be entitled to alimony as well. 
  • Medical Conditions: if you were diagnosed with a medical condition that impacts your ability to work and earn an income or comes along with costly expenses, you may be eligible for alimony. Depending on your health challenges, the court may award alimony for a designated period of time, or continuously for an ongoing medical condition. 
  • Duration of Marriage: the length of time of the marriage can be a determining factor for the court when evaluating an alimony request. The longer the marriage, the longer duration the receiving spouse may be awarded alimony. 
  • Abusive Behavior: a spouse that was abusive within the marriage and had prevented the other spouse from seeking education or employment, may impact how much is awarded in alimony. Alimony may be awarded to a spouse who now faces an increased need for assistance due to the mistreatment. 

Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and alimony entitlement.