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Alimony is a periodic payment of a specific amount of money from one spouse to the other for his or her support. The amount and period of the alimony payments are governed by statute.

First, each spouse’s monthly or annual income is determined. Then, their respective reasonable monthly or annual expenses are considered. The amount and period of each alimony payment will be determined by the court.

At the time of divorce, the length of time that alimony will be ordered will depend on many factors including each spouse’s income, expenses, age, and health of the parties, the length of the marriage and other considerations or factors set out in the Family Law Article.

The award of rehabilitative alimony may be for a specific period of time. For example, an award of rehabilitative alimony might be for a period of five years. The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to enable the financially dependent former spouse to obtain the necessary education and training to enable him or her to become self-supporting.

If, after considering all of the factors contained in the Family Law Article, an award of rehabilitative alimony would create an unconscionable disparity in the incomes or lifestyles of the parties or if a former spouse has a medical condition that prevents him or her from becoming self-supporting, the court may award indefinite alimony.  Indefinite alimony is paid until the first to occur of the death of either party or the remarriage of the financially dependent former spouse.

The courts favor rehabilitative alimony over indefinite alimony.

For more information on alimony issues or family law, please feel free to contact our Baltimore County law offices or schedule a free consultation with E. David Silverberg, an experienced family law attorney.

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