Spousal support or alimony is an important feature of the Maryland Domestic relations law. Alimony may be granted on a temporary basis during the pendency of a case. Temporary alimony or alimony pendent lite, also referred to as APL, is a temporary award of money paid by one spouse to the other to recognize a disparity in income and need. Hearings for temporary alimony are granted on a more expedited basis because a trial on the merits can take a year or more to achieve and the courts recognize the parties may not be able to wait for temporary cash assistance.
Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded when one spouse has been a homemaker or otherwise out of the workforce for an extended period of time and needs financial support to pay for school, retraining or assistance to get back into the workforce.
Indefinite alimony is also available in Maryland under appropriate circumstances. If due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability the party seeking alimony cannot reasonably be expected to make substantial progress toward becoming self-supporting or, after having done so, the respective standards of living of the parties will be unconscionably disparate, the court may award indefinite alimony. There are a list of factors which the court will consider including: the claiming parties ability to work and be self-supporting; the time necessary to become self-supporting; the standard of living of the parties during their marriage; the length of the marriage; the relative contributions of the parties both monetary and otherwise to the well being of the family; the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties; the ages of the parties; the physical and mental condition of each party; the amount of income of the economically dominate spouse and the agreements between the parties and any other resources of the parties.