Alimony is almost always a contentious issue in divorce cases.  It is never mandatory and in contested cases, always up to the discretion of the court.  The purpose of alimony is to allow both parties to continue with their lives after the marriage ends while minimizing the financial impact that is inherent in divorce cases.  Maryland allows pendente lite alimony (temporary alimony while the case is in litigation to ensure both parties can pay expenses until a divorce hearing), rehabilitative and, in some circumstances, permanent alimony.  It is important in any case to understand the factors that are important in determining an award of alimony and how those factors might apply to your case.