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 Alimony - Bourdon & Tortolero, PLLC

Will You Have to Pay Alimony?

October 30, 2023

Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is just one aspect of the divorce that splitting couples must negotiate or have a Maryland family court judge decide for them. 

If you or your spouse have recently filed for divorce or are contemplating divorce, you may wonder if you will have to pay alimony. A Maryland divorce attorney will be able to provide you with the specific information and guidance you need to understand your rights and obligations regarding alimony in the state of Maryland.

The Purpose of Alimony

Alimony payments are paid either in a lump sum or continuously for the support of a prior spouse. The supporting spouse pays alimony to the dependent spouse. In general, the dependent spouse is the one who makes less money than the other spouse.

Perhaps they stayed home to help raise the kids and maintain the home, didn’t earn a college degree due to family obligations, or worked a lesser-paying job. More often than not, the husband pays alimony to the wife. Still, with familial and bread-earning roles changing, it can go either way. 

When couples split, the dependent spouse may not have the money or means to support themselves. Alimony can help with this and can be temporary or permanent depending on the circumstances, what the couple agrees upon, or a judge’s orders.

Will You Have to Pay Alimony?

If your spouse makes less than you do or has stayed home to raise your children and keep up with the household duties, you will likely have to pay alimony. However, the amount you pay and the duration that you need to pay will depend on many factors, such as:

  • The length of the marriage – Generally, the shorter the length of the marriage, the less alimony will be owed, especially on a permanent basis.
  • Each spouse’s financial resources – For example, suppose the spouse receiving alimony has large amounts of funds in a savings account. In that case, the other spouse will likely not owe spousal support. If the decision comes down to the judge, they must consider the totality of the circumstances.
  • The time needed for the dependent spouse to get training or education to enter the workforce – It can be challenging for spouses to re-enter the workforce, even if they have the required education and experience. Even being out of work for a few months can impact how soon they can find gainful employment.
  • The earning capacity of each spouse – Depending on their education and work experience, one spouse may have more earning potential than the other.
  • Contributions to the marriage – Judges will consider staying at home or raising children as a contribution toward the marriage and the household.

Will You Have to Pay Alimony? Let an Experienced Divorce Lawyer Answer Your Questions

Will you have to pay alimony? This question is difficult to answer and is best discussed with a seasoned Maryland divorce attorney. Each divorce is different, with various factors to consider. As such, there is no blanket answer that applies to couples when it comes to spousal support. Get this pressing question answered by meeting with a lawyer from Bourdon & Tortolero, PLLC, as soon as possible.

Contact us online or call our Maryland office today at 703-646-8390 to schedule your appointment.

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