Important Factors to Consider When Seeking Alimony in Maryland
When seeking alimony in a divorce, there are several factors and guidelines in Maryland to consider. Read on to learn more about what to expect.
Did you know that there are more than 750,000 divorces in the U.S. each year?
Divorces rarely end well for a lot of people. If you were relying on the income of your spouse, you may end up struggling financially once the marriage ends. This is why you should consider filing a claim for alimony.
It can offer you the much-needed financial support and lessen any unfair economic effects of a divorce. While the idea behind alimony is simple, the logistics can be difficult to navigate. Below is a guide on what to expect when seeking alimony in Maryland.
What is Alimony?
Also known as spousal support, alimony is court-ordered financial support that a person awards an ex-spouse after a divorce. It ensures that the recipient spouse can support themselves.
How Does Alimony Work in Maryland?
Upon divorce, a spouse may enlist the help of an alimony attorney in Maryland and file for supposal support. This is popular especially when the spouse has become dependent on the other, cannot support themselves financially, has a smaller estate than the other, or cannot continue their standard of living without the other.
Alimony negotiations often take place during divorce proceedings. For you to receive alimony, your lawyer should be able to prove that you have financial needs and that your ex-spouse has the financial ability to pay.
Factors to Consider When Seeking Spousal Support Maryland
When seeking alimony in Maryland, there are several factors and guidelines you should consider. Here are some:
The Contribution of Each Spouse to the Marriage
In any marriage, both spouses make specific contributions that benefit the union. These contributions can be monetary or non-monetary like homemaking, child care, and more. The judge usually considers these contributions when determining alimony agreements.
If you didn’t work during the marriage or turned down opportunities for promotions for the sake of the marriage, you have a higher chance of getting alimony. As a non-working spouse, the alimony can provide the resources needed to help you re-enter the workforce.
Time of Filing an Alimony Claim
The time you claim alimony can affect whether you get financial support or not. In Maryland, the right to claim alimony ends at the time of the severance of the marriage. This means you cannot start an alimony claim once you sign the divorce papers.
The state of Maryland considers marital fault when deciding your alimony claim. If you’re having an at-fault divorce caused by adultery and more, you can get more payments for your alimony. It’s often referred to as punitive alimony.
But in case your ex-spouse has a lower financial standing than you and they committed adultery, they can still seek alimony. They may also get spousal support until they can support themselves.
Marital Standard of Living
The marital standard of living is a major factor when determining alimony payments in Maryland. It refers to the lifestyle you and your spouse established during your marriage. This includes:
- The house you lived in
- Purchases on necessities and luxuries
- The vacations you took
- The parties you went on
- Restaurants you ate at
- And any other financial habits you had
If your spouse made more than you, it can be impossible for you to enjoy the same standard of living after a divorce. Establishing a standard of living during divorce proceedings can help you get fair alimony payments.
Your Maryland divorce lawyer can ask for bank account statements and receipts from regular purchases to help prove the type of lifestyle you enjoyed during the marriage.
In some cases, the dependent spouse may get custody of the child. The custodial status can affect your alimony payments in Maryland. In case you are a dependent and custodial spouse, you may receive higher alimony payments.
Presence of a Prenup
Did you sign a prenup before getting married? It can affect your alimony claim. While both spouses have a right to alimony, it can limit your alimony payments or even waiver alimony altogether based on the terms in the contract.
The only time the waiver condition on the prenup won’t work is when the result of no alimony leaves you severely out of funds, destitute, or homeless. In this case, the provision can be considered unfair.
Length of Alimony Payment
The duration of alimony payments in Maryland can be grouped into two— rehabilitative or indefinite. It all depends on your situation.
Rehabilitative Alimony: This type of alimony is short-term. It will allow the spouse to get back on his or her feet. You can use the payments to go back to school or acquire skills needed in the current job market.
Permanent or Indefinite Alimony: It continues for a long period, possibly until the death of the receiving spouse. It can be awarded if you are unable to go back to work due to age, physical illness, or mental illness.
The extent of your alimony may also be determined by the length of your marriage. For instance, a popularly used standard for the length of alimony payment is that one year of alimony is paid every three years of marriage. But this usually varies depending on the judge or your state.
Taxation on Alimony
Under the old tax code, Maryland considered alimony as income. This means it was taxable to the receiving spouse and deductible for the spouse paying it. If you were already paying alimony before January 1, 2019, these old rules will apply to you.
But with changes in the tax laws, alimony is no longer a taxable income or deductible. If you received alimony for divorces finalized after December 31, 2018, these rules will apply to you.
Cohabitation and Remarriage
If you are the recipient of alimony and you start cohabitating with a new partner, it may not lead to termination of spousal support. But your ex-spouse can file a request to modify the existing alimony payments. In case you re-marry, you may get an automatic termination of alimony.
Consult with Our Experienced Alimony Attorneys in Maryland
Wondering how to get alimony in Maryland? Look no further than Blattner Family Law Group. We offer optimal counsel and support to ensure you get a fair alimony agreement upon divorce.
Contact us to schedule a consultation.