Alimony is often one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce, and even after the divorce has been finalized, it can remain a flashpoint for years. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is ordered if spouses have been married for a prolonged period, or if there is a significant disparity in earning capacity. If one or both former spouses’ situations significantly change, a person can petition the court to have their alimony modified.
Overview of Alimony in Maryland
Alimony is a periodic payment, usually ordered by a court, that one spouse must pay to the other to provide the recipient the opportunity to support themselves. For example, if a spouse foregoes their career to stay home and raise marital children, then that spouse may be entitled alimony to pay for schooling or other choices they gave up for the marriage. This is known as rehabilitative alimony. Indefinite alimony, money paid with no specific end, is relatively rare. You and your spouse can agree to the amount of alimony to be paid and for how long. However, in most cases, the payor and payee cannot come to an agreement, and the issue must be resolved by a judge. The judge will consider several factors in determining whether alimony is warranted, and how much.
Reasons Why Alimony Payments May Change
Several conditions may occur that warrant a change in your alimony payment. Alimony can be modified, extended, or terminated. Some of these situations that could warrant a change in alimony include:
- Your former spouse remarries; cohabitation without marriage is typically not a condition for the termination or modification of alimony payments in Maryland, unless the recipient spouse begins cohabiting with a new partner, resulting in a reduction in their expenses
- Your children no longer need a full-time parent at home
- Recipient secures employment
- Death of recipient or payor
- Retirement of the payor
- If a spouse awarded rehabilitative alimony makes no attempt to become self-supportive
- Payor is laid off or loses their job
- Disability of payor or recipient
- Reduction of recipient’s expenses
- Recipient inherits substantial assets
- Recipient wins the lottery
- Payor or payee has a significant event occur that results in a substantial increase or decrease in either income or expenses
- Recipient spouse becomes self-supportive
Either the payor or the recipient can petition the court to modify, extend, or terminate the alimony payment, as dictated by the circumstances of each person in the arrangement.
Towson Alimony Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients with All Matters of Divorce
Whether you are receiving spousal support or paying it, our aggressive Towson alimony lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC will work tirelessly to ensure that your legal rights and financial security are protected. Call us today at 443-589-0150 or fill out our convenient online inquiry form. With offices located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout the state, including the communities of Baltimore, Towson, Essex, Columbia, Pikesville, and Bel Air.