Spousal Bad Acts and Their Role in Strengthening Your Case for Alimony in Maryland

Going through a divorce is almost always a stressful time. That stress is even worse if you’re a divorcing spouse with no income and no ability to secure employment right away. When that happens to you, the law has options, such as rehabilitative alimony. A skilled Maryland divorce lawyer can help you collect and present the proof you need to get the alimony you deserve.

Earlier this month, this blog looked at a divorce situation where a spouse presented evidence of her husband’s misconduct that “contributed to the estrangement of the parties,” and parlayed that into a successful outcome regarding the monetary award the court ordered.

The case from earlier this month involved a husband who sought (and paid for) intimate pictures of women who were not his wife. While misconduct of a personal/intimate nature (such as the above example) may be what most readily comes to mind when it comes to spousal misconduct affecting the outcome of your divorce judgment, the alimony case we highlight today shows that there is actually a variety of spousal bad actions that can strengthen your divorce case.

The couple, both of whom were Indian citizens, married in early 2014. The husband hired an immigration attorney and swiftly secured a visa for himself. By the time of the divorce, the spouses had a wide disparity in income, with the husband earning roughly $140,000 per year and the wife earning next to nothing.

The Husband Was to Blame for the Wife’s Poor Job Prospects

According to the trial court, however, the husband was partly the cause of that disparity. The wife possessed a master’s degree in business administration and, back in India, she earned in excess of $100,000 per year working for Citibank as a relationship manager. However, here in the United States, she lacked proper immigration documentation and, as a result, was extremely restricted in terms of finding work.

The husband allegedly promised to help the wife with her immigration paperwork but never followed through. Additionally, the husband’s family took her passport and he and his family allegedly made numerous threats regarding deportation whenever she asked about the status of her green card application.

The trial court found the wife’s testimony to be credible regarding her immigration status problems, her husband’s role in those difficulties, her inability to find work because of her status, and the husband’s threats related to deportation.

That evidence — and its persuasiveness before the court — were an integral part of the wife’s successful pursuit of alimony. The court awarded her rehabilitative alimony in the amount of $1,600 per month for a period of three years. (The three-year duration related back to the wife’s testimony that she would need 3-4 years to find suitable employment, which included the time necessary to change her immigration status.)

In Maryland, the decisions regarding whether to award alimony (and how much) are highly fact-intensive. That means that your case is one where it’s critical to have everything put together before you appear before the trial court. Whether you’re seeking or opposing an alimony award, the knowledgeable Maryland family law attorneys at Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC are here to help you ensure that the judge who hears your case has all the facts and information needed to make a fully informed decision. Contact us today at 301-519-2801 or via our online form to set up your consultation.

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