When thinking about Alimony, it is important to know that this topic is one of those areas that is a true case by case bases. While there are things that will be considered in every case, the truth of the matter is there are no two cases that are exactly the same, which leaves the court with an important decision to make in each instance.
During the midst of divorce, you may be worried about surviving on your own. This is especially a concern if your former spouse was the main financial provider. For this instance, the Court can grant what is called Pendente Lite alimony. “Pendente Lite” is a latin phrase translating to “while the litigation is pending. This is a temporary support in an attempt to keep both parties in a similar boat as before separation until the Court can decide what the parties will need going forward. In this decision an future decisions, the court considers both the needs of parties, and the ability of parties to provide while maintaining their own standard of living.
Once all the information has been considered by the Court, a party may be granted either permanent or rehabilitative alimony. The difference of these two types are as they sound. rehabilitative alimony is meant to help a party get back on their feet, whether it be by providing until they can finish or reach a certain educated level or provide adequate time to find an employment position. If the Court decides that a party will never be able to reach a point where they can provide a life similar to the one maintained before separation, then they may grant permanent alimony. Read a detailed discussion about indefinite alimony HERE.
In deciding which alimony to provide, and the amount and duration, he Court looks at the several factors to consider:
(1) The parties’ standard of living during the marriage.
(2) The time necessary to gain sufficient education or training to find suitable employment by the party requesting alimony to maintain a relatively similar lifestyle
(3) The ability to be wholly or partly self-supporting.
(4) The duration of the marriage
(5) Each party’s physical and mental condition
(6) The circumstances that contributed to the parties’ estrangement
(7) Each party’s age and employability.
(8) Any previous agreement(s) between the parties.
(9) Any other relevant factor the Court may deem relevant.
(10) Each party’s contributions, monetary and non-monetary, to the well-being of the family
(11) The financial needs and resources of each party.
(12) The ability of the party from who alimony is sought to meet that party’s needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking alimony.
It is important to point out number (12), because it plays a real part in alimony amounts. The court will be aiming to set up each party to move on with their lives separately in as equal a manner as is justified by the many factors that are considered.
If you are considering a separation/divorce, or have been recently served with divorce papers, it is important for you to contact an attorney who can explain your options and protect your rights as a member in that marriage. CONTACT our Columbia attorney, for you FREE consultation to discuss these options. Our Howard County Family Lawyer can help get you through this difficult transition in your life.