Alimony is a payment made from one spouse to the lower-earning spouse in order to help him or her become self-supporting again. There are types of alimony that can be paid in Maryland. The court will consider many factors before determining an appropriate course of action.
The first type of alimony is called alimony pedente lite. It is paid from one spouse to another during the waiting period between the filing of the divorce and the finalisation of the divorce. It is temporary and receiving it does not necessarily mean the recipient will continue to receive it after the divorce has been finalised. The court awards this type of spousal support to maintain the status quo during the divorce.
Rehabilitative alimony is the most common type of spousal support in Maryland. Rehabilitative maintenance is paid after the divorce for a certain period of time. The purpose of this alimony is to provide sufficient time to the recipient to become self-supporting. One spouse will pay support to the other spouse for the period of time it will take the recipient to get any education or training needed so that they can fully maintenance themselves. When making the decision to award rehabilitative alimony, the court will use the following factors as a guideline to how much should be paid and for how long:
- The ability of the recipient to become self-supporting.
- The duration of the spouse to undergo any necessary training or education for them to become self-supporting.
- The standard of living during the marriage.
- On what grounds the divorce was filed on.
- What has the spouse requesting alimony contributed to the marriage? Either domestically or financially.
- The physical and mental health of both spouses.
- If the spouse paying alimony can meet both partners financial needs at the same time.
- Any agreement between the spouses.
- If either party receives retirement benefits.
The third type of alimony is disfavoured in Maryland and only awarded in certain cases. It is known as indefinite alimony. This is a permanent payment of spousal support. In Maryland the court will only order permanent alimony if either one of the following guidelines is met:
- If the party seeking spousal support cannot reasonably be expected to be self-supporting due to age, physical or mental health or disability.
- Or if the party seeking alimony, cannot match previous living standards or there is a large and unfair difference between the living standard of each party, even after becoming self-supporting.
In Maryland spousal support is not permanent. Either party may petition the court to modify the existing agreement at any time. They can request the court to increase, decrease or terminate spousal support.
Some spouses may wish to come to an agreement about the amount of spousal support and for how long it is to be paid. They may come to this agreement without the court’s help. In Maryland, the court is most likely to be bound by this agreement. They will not change the agreement which might sometimes be even broader than what the court would have ordered.
In Maryland, spousal support is considered as an income for the recipient and must pay taxes on it. The spouse paying spousal support does not have to pay any taxes on that money as it is tax-deductible.
If you need a Maryland spousal support lawyer to help you with your spousal support case in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland spousal support attorneys can help you. C