In a marriage, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to have more wealth than the other. During the divorce process, courts often award alimony or spousal support when they see a financial disparity between spouses. This financial assistance can be a lifeline for the spouse in need. However, a question often arises: Can one spouse ask for this help before divorce proceedings end?
This question becomes particularly crucial when a spouse is facing significant financial changes and challenges.
Temporary alimony for the spouse in need
In Maryland, the answer is yes. One spouse can indeed ask for alimony before the court completes the divorce proceedings. Courts can award this temporary support, known as “pendente lite alimony,” to help maintain the living standards of the spouse in need during the divorce process.
To be eligible for pendente lite alimony, the requesting spouse must demonstrate to the court:
- A financial need
- The other spouse’s ability to pay
- Potential for self-support
- Contributions to the family
- The reason for the breakdown of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age, health and financial situation
- Any existing agreements between the parties
These are some of the key factors the court considers to ensure a fair and equitable alimony award. It’s also important to note that once the divorce proceedings are complete, neither spouse can request alimony. So, it’s crucial to address the issue of alimony and present any necessary evidence early on.
Request for financial support promptly
Once the divorce is final, temporary alimony (pendente lite) ends. However, the court may replace it with another type of alimony, like rehabilitative alimony, or decide not to award alimony at all. Understanding these points is vital when navigating the process of divorce and alimony in Maryland. Due to the complexity of these issues, those planning to get a divorce and potentially seek alimony should consider seeking an attorney to guide them through the process.