Alimony “is a periodic payment by one former spouse to the other to assist that spouse in adjusting to a new living situation” [Source: Montgomery County, MD Circuit Court]. When a couple is divorcing or separating, one party may request that alimony be paid to them while they work toward becoming self-supportive. Although couples do have the option of creating their own alimony agreement, if one party needs the financial support yet the other isn’t willing to pay, they can then ask the courts to step in and create an order that would require them to provide it.

However,  you must prove that you are in need of alimony before a judge is going to order your spouse to pay it.

In order to initiate a court-order for alimony, also referred to as spousal support, you will need to file a Complaint or Petition, usually as part of a pleading for a limited or absolute divorce, but not necessarily.  Before a judge can determine just how much financial support, if any,  you are entitled to, they will first take receive evidence  regarding , among other issues,  the following:

  • How long you and your spouse have been married.
  • The age and health of both you and your spouse. 
  • The income, expenses, assets and debts of each of the parties.
  • What the potential future earing capabilities are of the parties.
  • Whether you have minor children at home.
  1.   The history of economic and non-economice contributions to the marriage of the parties.

What increases my chances of receiving the spousal support that I need?

While many households today consist of two working individuals, there households in which  one party serves as the primary financial provider for the home. This scenario causes one spouse to be  generally referred to as the economically dependent spouse. When a couple decides to divorce and one of the parties is economically dependent, is unable to meet their living expenses or there is a significant disparity in income from the other party, the issue of alimony needs to be raised and presented to the Court.. .

When these are the circumstances, there is a higher chance that alimony might be awarded to the party in need of the support for a certain period of time until they are able to get back on their feet again or it may be awarded for an indefinite period of time.

Pursuing an award of alimony is a complicated issue in a divorce. You stand a greater chance of receiving alimony when you have an experience and respected t family law attorney working on your side. The fact is, the courts are going to want adequate proof that shows why you need the support and you may not know exactly what documents to provide them with.  At the heart of any alimony dispute are the parties’ financial statements, filed with the court and used in evidentiary proceedings,  of monthly income and expenses.  The MD family law attorneys  at Barkley & Kennedy do and can help you gather all that you will need to help you secure the alimony you are seeking and the preparation of the appropriate financial statement.  They have prepared and filed hundreds of these types of financial statements in legal matters, including in proceedings  seeking alimony and in proceeding in which they were defending a spouse against an alimony demand.

The reality is, in most marriages, certain sacrifices are made which might involve one spouse having to give up their job to stay at home or scaling back on the number of hours they work just so they can be there to support their spouse while they pursue their career. But, when the marriage fails and you are left with only the skillset you acquired over the course of your marriage, it might not be enough when the two of you separate. That is why alimony exists and why it is available to those who need it. Conversely, there are limits to the amount and duration of alimony that should be awarded and your rights may need to be protected in this regards, as well.

If you are someone living in Rockville, MD or a nearby area who is looking to file a Complaint or Petition for alimony and would like to have an experienced and dedicated MD family law attorney working on your side and guiding you through the steps, then contact Barkley & Kennedy at 301-251-6600. We will gladly schedule you an initial consultation so that you can learn more about the services we offer and how we can help you.

You can reach Barkley & Kennedy at:

51 Monroe Street, #1407

Rockville, MD 20850

301-251-6600