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Alimony Must Be Requested / Court Must Consider 11-106(b) Factors

Upon application for alimony, the Court sets upon a review of factors in determining the amount and length of an award. These factors are set forth in the Family Law Section 11-106(b) of the Maryland Code and consist of twelve separate factors. The Court must consider each factor in any alimony determination before proceeding to subsection (c) of the statute to determine whether alimony will be rehabilitative or indefinite.

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11-106(b)(1) - (6) Factors

(1) the ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting; (2) the time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to find suitable employment; (3) the standard of living that the parties established during their marriage; (4) the duration of the marriage; (5) the contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family; (6) the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties;

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11-106(b)(7) - (12) Factors

(7) the age of each party; (8) the physical and mental condition of each party; (9) the ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet that party's needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking alimony; (10) any agreement between the parties; (11) the financial needs and financial resources of each party, including: (i) all income and assets, including property that does not produce income; (ii) any award made under A?A? 8-205 and 8-208 of this article; (iii) the nature and amount of the financial obligations of each party; and (iv) the right of each party to receive retirement benefits; and (12) whether the award would cause a spouse who is a resident of a related institution as defined in A? 19-301 of the Health-General Article and from whom alimony is sought to become eligible for medical assistance earlier than would otherwise occur.

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Indefinite or Rehabilitative Alimony

When alimony is awarded, Maryland law favors rehabilitative alimony over indefinite alimony, and, thus, the party seeking indefinite alimony must satisfy the requirements of Section 11-106(c) which permits the Court to award it if the following exists: (1) due to age, illness, infirmity, or disability, the party seeking alimony cannot reasonably be expected to make substantial progress toward becoming self-supporting; or (2) even after the party seeking alimony will have made as much progress toward becoming self-supporting as can reasonably be expected, the respective standards of living of the parties will be unconscionably disparate.