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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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I am a 54 yr old divorced woman who is having a hard time ...

Customer Question

I am a 54 yr old divorced woman who is having a hard time finding employment. I have a college degree but have been a stay at home mom for over 20 years so many people don''t seem to take me seriously. I will get a very small alimony for one more year. Can I take my ex-husband to court and seek lifetime alimony at this point? I was told at the time that we went through mediation that eventhough we were married for over 20 years, I would only get rehabilitative alimony. I wish I hadn''t been so nice at the time-just wanted to get it over with and thought I could support myself.He has a good income (he is a professional) and has had close to 30 yrs. to get there. I stayed home with our children because I thought it would be best for them.I gave up career developing time to make his life easier as well(I supported us while he went to school).That was a long time ago though.It is much harder at this age to start over again.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 9 years ago.
According to the Maryland statutes, you can petition the court for an extension for spousal support if there are circumstances which warrant the need for more spousal support. In addition, you can only petition for the extension if your divorce agreement allows for the modification petition. If your agreement has waived the right to file a modification, you will not be able to petition for the extension.

Now as to spousal support, this does not automatically mean that you will be awarded permanent support, but you can be awarded more rehabilitative support enough to obtain employment or to obtain college or other educational services to get you back into the work force. It will be up to demonstrate how serious you have been in obtaining employment and the outcome of such employment to warrant the extension.

Below is the law for Maryland about this:

Possible Extension or Modification Of Alimony


(a) Extension of Period - Subject to FL § 8-103 (See below), the Court may extend the period for which Alimony is awarded, if:
(1) circumstances arise during the period that would lead to a harsh and inequitable result without an extension; and
(2) the recipient petitions for an extension during the period.

(b) Modification of Amount - Subject to FL § 8-103 (See below), and on the petition of either party, the Court may Modify the amount of Alimony awarded as circumstances and justice require.


§ 8-103. Modification of Deed, Agreement, or Settlement


(a) Provision Concerning Children - The Court may modify any provision of a deed, agreement, or settlement with respect to the care, custody, education, or support of any minor child of the spouses, if the modification would be in the best interests of the child.

(b) Exception for Provision Concerning Support of Spouse - The Court may Modify any provision of a deed, agreement, or settlement with respect to spousal support executed on or after January 1, 1976, regardless of how the provision is stated, unless there is a provision that specifically states that the provisions with respect to spousal support are not subject to any Court Modification.


(c) Certain Exceptions for Provision Concerning Alimony or Support of Spouse - The Court may Modify any provision of a deed, agreement, or settlement with respect to Alimony or spousal support executed on or after April 13, 1976, regardless of how the provision is stated, unless there is:

(1) an express waiver of Alimony or spousal support; or
(2) a provision that specifically states that the provisions with respect to Alimony or spousal support are not subject to any Court Modification.



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Attorney & Mediator and 6 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 9 years ago.
Let me know if you need further help. Thanks.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to LawNinvest's Post: Thanks for your help. I will check my divorce agreement.
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 9 years ago.
Glad to be of help, thank you for your accept. I am sending this as an information request so that you are not prompted to accept again. All the best.

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