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 provide a recommendation regarding 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 takes into account:
- length of marriage
- age of claimant
- education of the claimant
- earning potential of 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 simply help decision-makers achieve an equitable result.
The Women’s Law Center underwrote the development of the Kaufman Alimony Guildelines after analysis of family law cases revealed that alimony is requested in only 16% of cases and awarded in only 6% of cases. These finding 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 Guildelines 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 useful tool. Seventy-eight percent either agreed or strongly agreed 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. 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 their sales to the Women’s Law Center.
The Bruce A. Kaufman Center for Family Law, a project of the Women’s Law Center, 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, with the goal of effecting policy changes in family law through litigation, research, education, and legislative advocacy. All of the Women’s Law Center’s 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.