Is There A Maryland Alimony Calculator
Alimony, or spousal maintenance, can be one of the most challenging aspects of getting a divorce in Maryland. Whether you must pay alimony or want to receive it from your ex-spouse, you need a qualified attorney to help you. If you have questions about spousal maintenance in Maryland, contact our Rockville alimony lawyers at Shah & Kishore for legal assistance.
Maryland Alimony Overview
Alimony is a court-ordered provision that provides financial support from one spouse to another during or after a divorce. If you receive temporary alimony during the divorce, it is called alimony pendente lite.
In Maryland, when a couple divorces, one spouse can file for spousal support in some instances. For example, if one spouse has been financially dependent on the other, the court may consider ordering alimony.
For one of the spouses to receive alimony, one party must have a demonstrated financial need, and the other must be able to pay. The court will also consider the standard of living during the marriage, how long the marriage lasted, each party’s earning capacity after divorce, and how long the dependent spouse needs to obtain training or education to earn a living.
Maryland Alimony Calculator
There is no alimony calculator in Maryland, and the amount and duration of alimony payments is up to the judge. The court will consider both circumstances and need when determining spousal support payments. There are many factors the court uses when considering ordering alimony:
- The ability of the party seeking alimony to support him or herself.
- The time needed for the person seeking alimony to obtain training or education so they can find work.
- The living standard that was established during the marriage.
- How long the marriage lasted.
- The monetary and nonmonetary contributions of each partner to the family.
- How old each party is.
- The mental and physical condition of each party.
- The ability of the person paying alimony to provide for his or her needs while making alimony payments.
- The financial resources and needs of each person.
- All assets and income, including property that does not generate revenue.
- The right of each person to receive retirement benefits.
- The amount and nature of other financial obligations of each person.
- Whether the alimony award would cause the paying spouse or spouse who lives in a care facility to become eligible for medical assistance earlier than would have otherwise happened.
Length Of Payments
To understand how long alimony payments may be, the following factors are relevant:
- Maryland alimony must be decided before the divorce is final. The court sees the right to spousal support as part of the marriage. Thus, the right to spousal support ends when the marriage is over, so there has to be an order in place before the divorce is finalized.
- Alimony almost always stops when the recipient remarries. So, it is wise to plan for a change in income if you remarry.
- Most alimony awards are temporary, but there are cases where the judge will give an indefinite award. For example, if a spouse is ill, disabled, or at an advanced age, and cannot become self-supporting, the court will consider these factors.
If one spouse cheated on the other, some wonder if that person can receive alimony. The decision about whether someone should receive maintenance is up to the court. The judge will decide what is reasonable and fair based on the facts of the case. For example, if the spouse has a lower income and was unfaithful, it depends on the judge and court.
Maryland Alimony FAQ
Some of the most common questions we receive about Maryland alimony are:
How Long Do I Have To Pay Alimony?
The Maryland family court judge has considerable discretion in determining how long alimony payments will be. The factors that the judge will consider in deciding the alimony question are highlighted earlier in this article.
What Are The Consequences if Alimony Is Not Paid?
If a spouse does not make alimony payments, it becomes a debt called alimony arrears. Arrears may be collected via a payment arrangement between the parties. Wage garnishment could also be employed. If you cannot afford your alimony payments because of a change of circumstances, talk to your alimony attorney in Maryland.
What Are The Three Types Of Alimony In Maryland?
The three types of alimony in Maryland are:
- Alimony pendente lite: A form of alimony provided during the divorce and is over on or before the divorce is finalized. The court may award alimony pendente between when the divorce is filed and when it is final. This type of alimony aims to maintain a financial status quo as divorce issues are sorted out. Receiving temporary alimony does not necessarily mean you will receive alimony in the final divorce order.
- Rehabilitative alimony: The most common type of alimony is awarded temporarily and usually associated with a time-limited goal, such as returning to school to learn new job skills.
- Indefinite alimony: You may receive indefinite alimony if because of illness, age, or disability, if you cannot make reasonable progress to become self-supporting. Or, even if you can make reasonable progress, the other party’s standard of living is significantly higher than yours.
Can My Alimony Payment Be Reduced?
Yes, but to modify alimony, the court must find a change of circumstances since the original support order was granted. The person wanting the payment modified must ask the court for a change before the original order of support. Reasons that alimony payments could be reduced include job loss, retirement, health issues or another major change of circumstance.
However, if you made an agreement with your ex-spouse to make the alimony order non-modifiable, the court will not make any changes. Some parties agree to make alimony non-modifiable to provide more financial certainty to both sides.
Contact Our Rockville Alimony Lawyers Today
Alimony is often one of the most contentious parts of a Maryland divorce, and many factors go into whether it is awarded and the amount. If you have questions about obtaining or paying alimony, we can help. Contact our Rockville alimony lawyers at Shah & Kishore today at (301) 315-0001.