What Factors Determine Alimony In Maryland?
Alimony is a payment from one spouse to the other after a divorce. The purpose of alimony is to offer the receiving party to become self-supporting. If you or the other party receive alimony, it is usually ‘rehabilitative,’ which means for a certain period to allow the receiving spouse time to obtain education or training to support themselves financially. Alimony can be a contested part of a divorce, and whether you want alimony or are required to pay it, it is essential to have your interests represented by an experienced attorney.
In this article, learn about the key factors determining whether alimony is paid and the amount. The Montgomery County alimony lawyers at Shah & Kishore have helped many clients obtain satisfactory results and are ready to represent your interests. Call us today for a free consultation at (301) 315-0001.
Types Of Alimony
You or your spouse could receive several types of alimony after a Maryland divorce:
Alimony Pendente Lite
The divorce court can award alimony pendente lite between when the divorce petition is filed and when it is finalized. The purpose of this alimony type is to maintain the financial status quo as the divorce proceeds. After the divorce, receiving alimony pendente lite does not mean you will receive alimony.
Rehabilitative alimony is commonly awarded to those who need financial support for a limited time. For instance, if you were primarily a homemaker and cared for the children, you could receive rehabilitative alimony so you can return to school and complete your degree.
This type of alimony is awarded with no particular end date. It is possible that you could get indefinite alimony because of illness, age, or disability, you cannot progress towards becoming self-supporting. Or, even if you could become self-supporting, your spouse’s standard of living is much higher or ‘unconscionably disparate’ from yours.
Factors That Determine Alimony In Maryland
The divorce court will consider many factors to decide if you or the other party should receive alimony. These include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- Each party’s financial situation during the marriage, today, and in the future
- Your age and mental and physical health
- Why the divorce occurred
- The ability of each spouse to be self-supporting
- Any premarital or postnuptial agreement between the spouses
- The financial resources and needs of each spouse
- Assets and income of each party, which includes properties that do not generate income
- Any retirement benefits the parties will receive
- The amount and nature of financial obligations that each party has
- The ability of the person paying alimony to meet their own needs while paying it
The divorce court is not required to utilize a checklist, but it must show it considered all relevant factors when making the alimony decision. Factors that are not on the above list could also be considered. These additional factors might be any factors the divorce court believes are necessary or appropriate to provide a fair, equitable outcome.
How Much Will Alimony Be?
The amount of alimony payments depends on the facts of the case. It is up to the divorce court to determine a fair alimony award, but the court must consider statutory and additional factors when making this decision.
What Are Tax Consequences Of Alimony?
When thinking about paying or receiving alimony, it is relevant to consider the potential tax implications. There were major changes to how alimony is treated for tax purposes when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was passed. For divorce agreements before Jan. 1, 2019, maintenance was usually taxable for the recipient and deductible from the payor’s income.
For divorce agreements after Jan. 1, 2019, the payor cannot tax deduct their alimony payments, which is not considered income for the recipient. Alimony agreement modifications made after Jan. 1, 2019, are treated the same, assuming the modification changes the alimony terms, and says that alimony is not tax deductible for the payor, and it is not income for the recipient.
Common Alimony Questions And Answers
Learn more about Maryland alimony by reading these common questions and answers:
Both Spouses Have Equal Incomes. Can I Still Get Alimony?
It is unlikely that you can receive alimony. If you are self-supporting and your incomes are the same, the court is unlikely to award alimony. Your standard of living after the divorce will not be unconscionably disproportionate to the other party’s.
My Wife Earns Much More Than I Do. Can I Get Alimony?
In this case, the odds of receiving alimony are high because there will likely be a considerable disparity between living standards after the divorce. However, the court may review other factors, such as your ability to obtain education and training, age, and marriage length.
After Divorce, Can I Get More Alimony After I Lost Work?
If you have lost a significant amount of income and that of your spouse stayed the same or increased, you could be eligible for an alimony modification. Talk to your attorney about filing an alimony modification with the appropriate court.
I Received $1,000 Monthly For Pendente Lite Alimony. Will I Receive That Much In Alimony?
Receiving pendente lite alimony is no guarantee that you will get maintenance when the divorce is final. However, if the spouse was required to pay $1,000 per month and was able to do so, it could be a factor the court will consider when making a final alimony decision.
I Am Over 60 And My Spouse Was The Breadwinner. How Much Alimony Can I Get?
Because of your age, the divorce court may award alimony to you. But it also will review each party’s income, how long the marriage lasted, and other factors. Generally, the longer the marriage, the more likely the spouse earning less will receive a higher amount of alimony.
Speak To Our Montgomery County Alimony Lawyers Today
Questions about alimony are often stressful and complex during a divorce, but with the assistance of a skilled divorce attorney, you can enjoy a favorable case outcome. For a complimentary consultation, contact our Montgomery County alimony attorneys at Shah & Kishore today by calling (301) 315-0001. Our attorneys will review your case and lay out the potential alimony options and possibilities.