What You Should Know About Alimony In Maryland
In Maryland, you can request alimony upon divorce if you do not have the financial means to support yourself. Alimony may be ordered if one party cannot continue their customary standard of living without the other party’s financial support.
If you are considering divorce and want alimony, you should speak to a Montgomery County alimony attorney at Shah & Kishore today. For the judge to award alimony, you must demonstrate the financial need of one spouse and the other spouse has the ability to pay. Thus, enlisting a qualified attorney’s help in this process is helpful.
How Is Alimony Calculated In Maryland?
There is no alimony calculator in Maryland, so the judge will weigh many factors to calculate the amount of spousal support. Although the awarded alimony is temporary in most cases, the idea is to allow the receiving spouse to rebuild their life financially. Therefore, the amount awarded may be tied to how long the marriage lasted and how challenging it will be for the receiving spouse to make a sufficient income.
The Three Types Of Alimony In Maryland
Maryland has three types of alimony:
This type of alimony is ordered for a specific period to provide the receiving party with an opportunity to find the means to earn a living. Once they have completed the required training or education to earn a sufficient income, the alimony ends.
This type of alimony can continue indefinitely. For example, the judge may order indefinite alimony for someone who cannot support themselves. It also can be awarded in the case of a couple whose lifestyles will be dramatically different after the divorce. The purpose of indefinite alimony is to make the parties’ financial status after divorce more equal. Indefinite alimony usually terminates when the recipient dies or remarries or the payor dies.
This is alimony that is paid during divorce litigation. With pendente lite alimony, the person receives maintenance temporarily while the divorce is pending.
How The Judge Decides If Alimony Is Appropriate
Whether alimony should be awarded in a Montgomery County divorce depends on the case. To make the decision, the family court judge will consider various factors, including:
- The ability of the person desiring alimony to be partially or entirely self-supporting.
- Length of the marriage.
- The monetary and nonmonetary contributions each spouse made to the marriage and family.
- The mental and physical state of each spouse
- Any agreement that has been made between the spouses.
- What caused the estrangement between the parties.
- The ability of the person paying alimony to meet their needs while meeting the other party’s needs.
- The necessary time for the person seeking alimony is to obtain training or education to support themselves.
Child custody matters and whether child support payments are required are other factors that may influence whether alimony is awarded and the amount. Also, if your ex-spouse pays child support or maintenance from a previous relationship, this can affect the judge’s decision about awarding alimony.
A common question is how long alimony lasts in Maryland. Whether maintenance is temporary, rehabilitative, or indefinite, it terminates in one of three ways:
- On the date that the court sets in the divorce settlement.
- If either party passes away.
- If the person receiving alimony remarries.
Alimony Payment Frequency
Unless you and your ex-partner agree otherwise, the judge decides the type of alimony payments. Judges typically require bi-weekly, monthly, or semi-annual alimony payments.
The Montgomery County court may order that the paying spouse’s employer withholds alimony payments from their paycheck.
If you receive alimony and your ex-spouse stops paying, you can request that the court enforce the spousal support order. The court will order the paying party to go to a hearing to explain why they are not making payments. If the court is dissatisfied with their answer, the court may charge the person with contempt, and the punishment can range from fines and/or attorney fees. .
Can Alimony Be Taxed In Maryland?
Before Jan. 1, 2019, alimony was considered taxable income in Maryland. That is not the case today because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Alimony in Maryland is considered ‘tax neutral,’ similar to child support payments. So, if your ex-spouse pays you alimony, it is not considered income, and you do not need to pay taxes on those payments.
However, the person paying alimony must pay income taxes on their alimony payments. The 2017 law states that the payer can no longer deduct these payments for tax purposes. So if you pay alimony in Maryland, it is more expensive tax-wise today than before.
How Does Infidelity Affect Alimony In Maryland?
When making a decision about whether to award alimony, the Montgomery County judge reviews many factors. One of them allowed under the law is the circumstances that led to the divorce.
Adultery may be a factor that contributed to your divorce. Also, Maryland law states that adultery or other grounds for divorce does not bar the offending person from receiving spousal support.
Contact Our Montgomery County Alimony Attorney Now
Divorce is usually a painful process, and the question of alimony payments often is an additional stressor. However, when you have an experienced attorney working with you on spousal support questions, considerable strain is reduced because you have a better idea of what your financial future holds. Please contact our Montgomery County alimony attorneys at Shah & Kishore today at (301) 315-0001 if you have questions about alimony.