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Are You Eligible for Alimony?

| Mar 8, 2024 | Alimony, Family Law

During a divorce, alimony may be awarded to one spouse to help him or her transition financially to life after marriage. To be eligible for alimony, your divorce lawyer in Severn must request it before the divorce is finalized. You cannot go back and request alimony after the divorce case has ended. Should your divorce lawyer request alimony on your behalf? Here are some of the factors divorce courts consider when making decisions about alimony payments.

Ability to Self-Support

The court will consider your ability to support yourself after the divorce. To determine if you are able to sufficiently support yourself, your divorce lawyer will present evidence about your education and work history, particularly if you did not work during the marriage and have been out of your field for an extended period of time. If you need further education to be able to support yourself, the court may award rehabilitative alimony to provide support for the period of time it takes you to complete your education. After you are done, the alimony payments will end.

Length of Marriage

Courts seldom award alimony for short marriages, but it is more of a consideration in longer marriages. Long-term couples are likely to have developed a certain lifestyle through cooperation and collaboration over the course of their marriages, and the court may wish to ensure that both couples continue to enjoy these benefits after severing their relationship. Couples in long marriages are also likely to be older, which can impact their earning potential, making alimony a potential solution.

Physical and Mental Health

The physical and mental health of both spouses will be considered by the court when awarding alimony. If a physical or mental health issue prevents you from working, you may be eligible to receive alimony payments from your spouse. This is called indefinite alimony and has no pre-set ending point. However, this alimony may be stopped if your ability to support yourself changes or you remarry. Your family lawyer must present evidence of your health problem to earn this kind of alimony.