How is Alimony Determined in Maryland?
During the dissolution of a marriage, certain circumstances may permit the award of alimony. The purpose of an alimony award is to ensure that marital property is shared by both spouses so that each spouse can maintain an adequate standard of living. In many cases, for instance, stay-at-home parents are at a disadvantage when a divorce occurs. They may not be able to re-enter the workforce and provide for themselves immediately. Alimony is designed to help people in situations like these so they can get back on their feet and become self-sustaining.
Perhaps you’re getting a divorce and you want to know how much alimony you’ll have to pay. Maybe you haven’t been employed for years and you know you’ll need financial assistance after your divorce. Either way, you probably have questions about how alimony is calculated.
Factors Used to Determine Alimony
Alimony payments can come in the form of rehabilitative alimony, indefinite alimony or alimony Pendente lite. When the court awards rehabilitative alimony, periodic payments are made to a spouse for a limited period of time. This could give someone the chance to go back to school and get an education, for example. If one spouse is not able to work towards supporting themselves or their economic situation is dire, alimony may go on indefinitely. Pendente lite alimony, on the other hand, is only awarded during the divorce process.
There is no set formula for calculating alimony in the state of Maryland. In order for a court to decide how much alimony is necessary, they’ll look at several factors and give each equal weight. These include:
- Each individual’s ability to support and provide for themselves
- The time that would be required for the individual requesting alimony to receive education or attain employment
- The established standard of living both individuals were accustomed to during the marriage
- How long the marriage lasted
- Each individual’s contributions to the family as a whole
- Reasons the couple sought a divorce and the circumstances involved
- The ages of both spouses
- The physical and mental health of each party
- The ability of one spouse to provide payments to the other
- Agreements made between the parties
- The financial needs of both spouses (including all income and assets, awards, debts, and retirement benefits)
- Whether the award would cause a spouse to become eligible for medical assistance earlier than would otherwise occur
Any other factors that the court sees fit to examine will be scrutinized before alimony is determined. Their decision will ultimately determine how much money is awarded to a spouse and the duration of alimony payments. Once as an alimony agreement is established, it must be adhered to. However, either party can attempt to modify or alter an alimony agreement if and when circumstances change. Alimony is only terminated prematurely if either spouse dies, the recipient is re-married, or the court deems termination necessary and fair.
Is there anything you would like to know about alimony payments, such as its tax implications? Our attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can answer any questions you have about Maryland alimony laws. Whether you’re a spouse seeking alimony or you have questions about payment obligations, we’ll look out for your interests.
The Attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC Can Answer Any Questions You Have about Alimony
At Lebovitz Law, LLC, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate divorce proceedings and alimony. If you’re seeking alimony payments or any advice related to divorce, you’ll need assistance from a legal expert. No matter what questions you have, the experienced attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can help. We’ll do everything our power to secure an advantageous outcome on your behalf. To schedule a consultation or speak to an attorney, contact us at (410) 657-6494.