What You Should Know About Alimony In Maryland In 2023
Alimony concerns can be one of the most contested parts of a divorce in Maryland. Whether you want alimony or want your ex to pay it, having experienced legal counsel representing your rights for the most favorable outcome is essential. Learn the critical aspects of alimony, also called spousal maintenance, in Maryland in this article, and talk to our Rockville alimony lawyers at Shah & Kishore if you have questions.
What Types Of Alimony Are Available In Maryland?
Generally, alimony is awarded in Maryland prior to the final end of the marriage. If you do not claim alimony during the divorce, you cannot decide to ask for maintenance after the marriage is over. The Supreme Court of Maryland, previously the Court of Appeals, ruled in previous cases that the right to ask for alimony ‘is extinguished at the time of the severance of the marital relationship.’ So, if you wish to ask for maintenance, ensure your divorce attorney is aware of this fact as early in the case as possible.
There are three kinds of alimony available in Maryland. The first is pendente lite support, which is temporary maintenance during the divorce process. Family court judges understand that some spouses cannot support themselves while the process plays out. Pendente lite alimony is short-term and stops when the judge finalizes the divorce and/or issues a new spousal support order.
The second type is rehabilitative alimony which may be provided for the lower-earning spouse to become self-supporting with a job or appropriate educational training. Rehabilitative alimony may be appropriate if one spouse primarily stayed home with the children or handled household duties. The maintenance may be ordered until such a time that the person is able to support themselves. Some spouses might receive alimony temporarily if they return to college to earn another degree.
The third type is indefinite alimony, which provides financial support to the spouse for an undefined period if the person’s age, illness, or disability makes it unlikely that he or she can become self-supporting. Or, the standard of living of the spouses would be unconscionably disproportionate. Alimony awards can usually be modified, extended, or changed later. But there must be a material change in circumstances demonstrated to the court to justify modifying the alimony order.
How Do You Qualify For Alimony In Maryland?
The defining characteristic of an alimony case is that one of the spouses needs financial support after divorce, and the other party has the ability to pay. If the family court determines there is a need and ability to pay, it will review the following factors to determine what the alimony payment should be:
- The supported party’s ability to become self-support in whole or in part
- How long the supported spouse must obtain education or training to secure employment
- What the marital standard of living was
- How long the marriage lasted
- Each person’s monetary and nonmonetary contributions to the family during the marriage
- What caused the spouses to divorce
- Each person’s age and mental and physical condition
- The payor’s ability to maintain financial independence while paying alimony
- Each party’s financial needs, after considering all assets and income, as well as financial obligations
- Whether paying alimony would cause the payor to be eligible for medical assistance earlier than would otherwise be necessary
Judges are given broad discretion to weigh the above factor in determining a fair spousal support award. If the parties want to control the amount, duration, and type of alimony, it can be negotiated during the divorce, and the judge will likely honor the agreement if it is fair to both sides.
Can You Change A Support Order In Maryland?
Yes. The judge understands that life circumstances evolve and a support order could become unnecessary or unfair. If there have been financial changes in your life or you think they have occurred in your ex’s life, you can request that the court review the order.
The law states that judges can review a support order if justice and circumstances require it. This means the support order could be modified if there was a significant change in job status, income, or events.
How Are Alimony Payments Made In Maryland?
Unless the parties come to a different agreement, the family court judge shall decide the type and frequency of alimony payments. The payments can be made weekly, monthly, quarterly, or another kind of recurring basis. If you believe your ex is behind on his or her alimony payments, our Maryland divorce attorneys can help you.
When Does Alimony End In Maryland?
Unless there is a different agreement, alimony payments terminate with the death of either person, if the recipient remarries, or if the judge decides that terminating alimony is needed out of fairness.
How Can A Rockville Alimony Lawyer Assist You?
Alimony attorneys have several vital roles in divorce and spousal support cases. Some of the reasons to hire an alimony attorney are:
Ensure The Process Is Fair
Your attorney cannot guarantee a specific result, but they will ensure the process is fair and your rights are protected. For instance, your attorney will strive to make sure that the relevant law is being enforced correctly by the judge and that all relevant factors regarding alimony are considered. Your attorney will also ensure that the evidence you want to use is admissible and will be duly considered by the judge.
It is common for parties to be required to go to mediation to work out key divorce issues, including alimony. Your attorney could be allowed to attend mediation with you to facilitate the session and encourage both parties to settle the case without additional time and expense.
Contact Our Rockville Alimony Lawyers Today
If you are facing divorce in Maryland, alimony concerns can heighten the stress and uncertainty, but answers are available. An attorney will represent your interests, answer your questions, and ensure that you are treated fairly as alimony and other divorce matters are decided. Please speak to our Rockville alimony lawyers at Shah & Kishore today for a consultation at (301) 315-0001.