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Unconscionable Disparity

In Lee v. Andochick, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reversed a $10,000 a month alimony award because the numbers just didn’t add up.  But the Court also found the trial judge erred in awarding indefinite alimony on the basis of unconscionable disparity.

Section 11-106(c)(2) of the Maryland Family Law Article provides that alimony may be awarded indefinitely if the court finds that even after the party seeking alimony will have made as much progress of  becoming self-supporting as can reasonably be expected, the respective standards of living of the parties will be unconscionably disparate.

Mr. Lee made $1,760,282 and Dr. Andochick made $267,000 in 2006.  But the appeals court said a disparity in income is not the same as a disparity in standards of living.

Dr. Andochick, the court said, did not explain or prove how her standard of living would be unconscionably disparate from Mr.  Lee’s if she did not receive alimony.  The court also said the trial judge did not discuss his analysis of why the respective standards of living of the parties would be unconscionably disparate.  Therefore the case was sent back to the trial judge to make further findings.