Court In Maryland Refuses Wife Alimony Award When She Failed To Pursue Further Training and Education

Courts in Maryland are permitted by law to grant the type of alimony the court system deems fit based on the specific case. One type of alimony is rehabilitative, which grants the recipient spouse a fixed amount of alimony during a limited time. Rehabilitative alimony states that if trial evidence demonstrates no proof of the steps the recipient spouse took to improve and become self-supporting, the granting or awarding of rehabilitative alimony is subject to a reversal.

In this case, the couple have been married for a little over twenty-six years since 1990 until the middle of 2017. During the marriage, Lily worked as a teacher, but she quit being after facing several disciplinary actions. Because she was burnt out and found the profession too demanding and stressful, she refused to find a new teaching position. Lily then moved to North Carolina and went to find work at department stores, groceries, diners, and restaurants, but she was unable to gain employment. During the process of divorce, Lily asked the judge to award or grant her an indefinite alimony.

After a deliberate review of the evidence, the trial court found Lily had rendered herself destitute. She had no health conditions whatsoever that prevented her from working. Also, she was well equipped with a Master’s degree and professional teaching experience. Once the court finds that one has rendered themselves destitute, it will decide to treat your income as the higher amount when determining alimony. After its findings regarding Lily’s voluntary impoverishment, it still awarded Lily with rehabilitative alimony amounting to $2,700 for the duration of two years.

Lily’s husband, Jake, appealed the alimony. It turned out the awarding of rehabilitative alimony was flawed in this case. Again, rehabilitative alimony is awarded as a fixed amount during a limited period of time. The length of time it is regularly given is determined to correspond to the time needed by the recipient spouse to pursue further training, education, or certification to become self-supporting by finding a reliable or stable employment. In this case, Lily is equipped with professional teaching experience, a Master’s degree, and a teaching certification. She did not need any more credentials to find a suitable source of income or employment.

Furthermore, the trial court gave no terms or conditions about what necessary training and education should be pursued during the two years the alimony will be given. Because the judge could not provide a solid explanation as to what will be gained during the two-year period, Lily will be given rehabilitative alimony to support her chances of finding reliable employment. The grant of the alimony could not stand and was therefore reversed.

Alimony can be quite tricky at times, so it is best to consult with your lawyer regarding any questions you may have. Our family law attorneys have experience handling cases with unique situations such as the one above. We look forward to helping you with your case and achieving the outcome you desire. Gert started by scheduling your consultation today.