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When is it a good idea to ask for alimony?

Imagine you have just learned that your spouse has been cheating on your for a number of months. Considered as fault and grounds for divorce, you file the necessary paperwork to begin the dissolution of your marriage. Because you hired an attorney, you are more aware of your rights under Maryland law, such as your right to ask for alimony payments.

But when is it a good idea to ask for alimony? That's a good question. Because every person's situation is a little different, we're going to look at three scenarios in which asking for alimony may be necessary. Let's take a look.

Lengthy unemployment. If you have been out of work for a majority of your marriage and have concerns about your ability to rejoin the workforce after getting a divorce, then you may want to seek an award of alimony from the courts.

Vastly disproportionate incomes. If your spouse makes significantly more than you and you have concerns about your financial stability after a divorce, then asking for alimony may be a good idea here as well. In cases like this, temporary support orders are most likely as a recipient spouse will likely have the ability to earn more as time goes on.

Mental or physical disability. If you are unable to work because of a disability - either mental or physical - then a Maryland judge may order your spouse to pay you alimony for an indefinite amount of time. This is only one of the few instances in which permanent alimony may be awarded and then it is up to the court's discretion.

Source: dhr.state.md.us, "Legal Rights in Marriage & Divorce in Maryland," Third Edition, Accessed Sept. 29, 2015

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