Kaufman Alimony Guidelines

The Kaufman Alimony Guidelines are a tool to help lawyers and decision-makers develop appropriate alimony awards that achieve equitable results and improve outcomes for Maryland's families. The Kaufman Alimony Guidelines recommend whether alimony should be awarded, including an amount and duration. Child support is calculated using the Maryland Child Support Guidelines, and tax implications of the award are reflected. The software considers:

  • length of marriage
  • age of claimant
  • education of the claimant
  • earning potential of the claimant
  • income of the parties
  • child care responsibilities


The Guidelines do not supplant the discretion of the judge. Use of the Guidelines does not replace consideration of the statutory factors or the advocacy of each party's lawyer. They help decision-makers achieve an equitable result.

The Women’s Law Center underwrote the development of the Kaufman Alimony Guidelines after analysis of family law cases revealed that alimony is requested in only 16% of cases and awarded in only 6% of cases. These findings were reported in the Women’s Law Center’s Families in Transition. It is difficult for attorneys to predict whether alimony will be awarded and, if so, in what amount. The Kaufman Alimony Guidelines help address this issue by offering a framework to make alimony more predictable, consistent, and accessible. The Kaufman Alimony Guidelines were developed by Marginsoft, which has extensive experience developing guidelines in other jurisdictions throughout the country.

A survey of Kaufman Alimony Guidelines users demonstrates that it is a valuable and effective tool. Over three-quarters of professionals responding to the survey reported using the Guidelines routinely or in select cases, and 88% either agreed or strongly agreed that they are a helpful tool. Seventy-eight percent (78%) agreed or strongly agreed that the software program contributes to equitable financial outcomes in family law cases.

For five years, the Women's Law Center provided the Kaufman Alimony Guidelines to the legal community for free as a public service. However, the Women's Law Center is no longer able to maintain and update the software program. An updated version of the Kaufman Alimony Guidelines is available at www.marginsoft.com. Marginsoft will donate 20% of its sales to the Women's Law Center.

The Bruce A. Kaufman Center for Family Law, a Women’s Law Center project, was established by the generous gift of the Kaufman Family in honor of Bruce A. Kaufman, a supporter and friend of the Women's Law Center. The WLC established the center in the mid-1990s to effect policy changes in family law through litigation, research, education, and legislative advocacy. All the Women’s Law Centers' direct services, research, and advocacy efforts in the area of family law were conducted under the auspices of the Kaufman Center for Family Law. Thank you to the Kaufman Family for their many years of support of the Women's Law Center of Maryland.

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