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Questions You Want Answered > Spousal Support > What is the difference between Pendente Lite, Rehabilitative and Indefinite Alimony?

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These terms are often confusing to people.  Pendente Lite literally means "during litigation," and it is support that is awarded to enable each spouse to survive during the litigation.  It is based solely on the recipient's need and the payor's ability to pay.  In Maryland, the court ordinarily cuts all "extras" out of each party's needs in order to determine both the need and ability to pay. 

Rehabilitative alimony is alimony for a definite period of time.  In Maryland, it is normally awarded to a spouse who has the capability to become fully self supporting at a level which will lead to a standard of living that is not unconscionably disparate from that of the paying spouse.

Indefinite alimony is alimony for an indefinite period of time, and in Maryland, it is normally awarded to a spouse who is unable to be fully self supporting or even after becoming fully self-supporting, will have a standard of living whichis unconscionably disparate from that of the paying spouse.

Last updated on July 19, 2010 by Karen Robbins, Attorney at Law