In a divorce that takes place in Maryland, alimony, money paid by one spouse to another, is awarded with the goal that both parties are able to maintain the standard of living that they were accustomed to during the marriage. Alimony may be paid during the divorce and/or after if one spouse demonstrates financial need. The court may also find other reasons to award alimony. However, alimony payments are not intended to go on indefinitely. The court expects the supported spouse to become independent within a reasonable amount of time after the divorce is final.
Types of Alimony
Maryland courts offer three types of alimony awards: temporary, short-term, and long-term:
- Temporary alimony: Also known as pendent lite, it is granted during divorce proceedings so that the receiving spouse can manage financially until the divorce process is over. This type of alimony is effective only while the divorce is in litigation.
- Rehabilitative (Short-term) alimony: This is a limited type of paid alimony that the receiving spouse is given, along with an adjustment period following the divorce after which the payments end.
- Indefinite (Long term or permanent) alimony: This kind of alimony may be awarded when the income difference between the spouses cannot be reconciled no matter how much progress the receiving spouse makes towards financial independence. It is also awarded in cases where age or disability make it impossible for the receiving spouse to become self-supporting.
Changes to Alimony
In Maryland, alimony payments can change or end for different reasons. Alimony payments terminate when:
- Either spouse passes away
- The receiving spouse remarries
- The court finds changes in the circumstances that established the original alimony award
In some circumstances, a spouse may petition the court for a modification of the alimony award should they or their ex-spouse’s circumstances change substantially rendering the original award inappropriate.
On a federal tax return, the spouse receiving alimony must report the payment amount as income, while the spouse paying alimony may take a tax deduction.
Factors Determining Alimony Awards
The court will consider many factors when granting an alimony award including:
- How long the couple was married and their standard of living during the marriage
- What each spouse contributed to the marriage; financial and otherwise
- The age, mental, and physical status of each spouse
- The ability of the spouse asking for alimony to become self-sufficient and what they will need to achieve that goal; further education or training
- The financial ability of the spouse paying alimony to meet the alimony request without enduring financial hardship
If one person is at fault for the end of the marriage, whether because they left or because of adultery or abuse, this may be a factor of consideration when the court makes its decision about alimony.
When calculating the amount of an alimony award, the court will look at the income, expenses, and standard of living, as well as savings and investments of both spouses.
Towson Alimony Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Provide Experienced Counsel in a Divorce
At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, we have been providing knowledgeable counsel in all matters of family law for more than 30 years. Call us today at 443-589-0150 to talk to an experienced Towson alimony lawyer or contact us online. An initial consultation is free and confidential.