Maryland alimony spousal support

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Alimony/Spousal Support in Maryland

Determining whether one spouse is entitled to alimony (spousal support) – and if so, how much and for how long – can be one of the most frustrating and challenging parts of a divorce. Will you get alimony? Will you have to pay alimony? Our experienced Maryland family lawyers can help clients answer these questions.

Alimony is spousal support paid from one spouse to the other. Normally, it is paid to the recipient on a monthly basis, and may be paid by wage lien or Earnings Withholding Order like child support. Alimony payments terminate upon the death of the payor or recipient, or the remarriage of the recipient (unless specifically provided otherwise).

Tax Law Changes & Impacts on Alimony After January 1, 2019

Recent tax law changes have had significant impact on alimony analysis, agreements, or awards made after January 1, 2019, as the person paying alimony (the payor) has now lost the tax deduction for alimony paid, and alimony is no longer taxable as income for the recipient. Additionally, while Maryland has a set of statutory Guidelines for calculating and determining the amount of child support, there are no such statutory mathematical guidelines or formula for determining alimony.

Alimony is therefore perhaps the most difficult area of Family Law in which to predict a result with any degree of absolute confidence or certainty. The law in Maryland with respect to alimony evolved over time so that a trial judge is vested with an enormous degree of discretion in deciding whether or not to award alimony in a particular case.

This discretion is subject to being exercised in a fairly individualized fashion, so that an alimony award may be quite different, depending on which judge hears the case. To some extent, it can feel like a roulette wheel. However, with the counsel of experienced and skilled family lawyers, the challenges involved and the ranges of potential outcomes are fully discussed and more easily understood, and the best possible case for achieving your objectives can be prepared and put forward.

How is Alimony/Spousal Support Calculated in Maryland?

Alimony may be awarded by the Court, under different standards and test of eligibility, for the following durations of time:

  1. pendente lite alimony, which is a fancy way of saying temporary alimony pending the final divorce hearing;
  2. rehabilitative alimony, which is alimony awarded for a limited and defined duration of time after the granting of divorce; and
  3. permanent or indefinite alimony (essentially a lifetime award of alimony).

Each of these types of alimony have different purpose and different legal and statutory considerations. There are some general trends when it comes to spousal support in Maryland. One trend is away from the tradition of granting one party alimony for life. Now, alimony is more often viewed as a temporary measure to enable the dependent spouse to get the required education and training necessary to improve their own earning potential.

Parties may also reach agreement as to alimony, and the Court is bound by the terms reached by the parties with respect to alimony. The parties may agree that their alimony agreement will not be modifiable by the Court for any reason, or may agree that the agreed upon alimony terms may be modifiable only in very limited or clearly defined circumstances.

Contact our Maryland Alimony Attorneys at Trainor, Billman, Bennett & Milko Today

Given the stated challenges and differing standards and eligibility, it is vitally important to have an attorney experienced and skilled in alimony awards to help you navigate these difficult waters and to assist you in obtaining the best possible outcome for your financial security. At the law firm of Trainor, Billman, Bennett & Milko, LLP, our attorneys are dedicated to helping both payor and payee understand their rights and responsibilities and gauge and protect their interests in divorce cases involving questions of spousal support. Our divorce attorneys, with well over decades of combined family law practice, have extensive experience in helping clients on both sides of the alimony issue pursue fair spousal support determinations through negotiation, mediation, and litigation. Contact us online or call 410-280-1700 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your alimony/spousal support case at our offices in downtown Annapolis.

Alimony/Spousal Support in Maryland

Determining whether one spouse is entitled to alimony (spousal support) – and if so, how much and for how long – can be one of the most frustrating and challenging parts of a divorce. Will you get alimony? Will you have to pay alimony? Our experienced Maryland family lawyers can help clients answer these questions.

Alimony is spousal support paid from one spouse to the other. Normally, it is paid to the recipient on a monthly basis, and may be paid by wage lien or Earnings Withholding Order like child support. Alimony payments terminate upon the death of the payor or recipient, or the remarriage of the recipient (unless specifically provided otherwise).

Tax Law Changes & Impacts on Alimony After January 1, 2019

Recent tax law changes have had significant impact on alimony analysis, agreements, or awards made after January 1, 2019, as the person paying alimony (the payor) has now lost the tax deduction for alimony paid, and alimony is no longer taxable as income for the recipient. Additionally, while Maryland has a set of statutory Guidelines for calculating and determining the amount of child support, there are no such statutory mathematical guidelines or formula for determining alimony.

Alimony is therefore perhaps the most difficult area of Family Law in which to predict a result with any degree of absolute confidence or certainty. The law in Maryland with respect to alimony evolved over time so that a trial judge is vested with an enormous degree of discretion in deciding whether or not to award alimony in a particular case.

This discretion is subject to being exercised in a fairly individualized fashion, so that an alimony award may be quite different, depending on which judge hears the case. To some extent, it can feel like a roulette wheel. However, with the counsel of experienced and skilled family lawyers, the challenges involved and the ranges of potential outcomes are fully discussed and more easily understood, and the best possible case for achieving your objectives can be prepared and put forward.

How is Alimony/Spousal Support Calculated in Maryland?

Alimony may be awarded by the Court, under different standards and test of eligibility, for the following durations of time:

  1. pendente lite alimony, which is a fancy way of saying temporary alimony pending the final divorce hearing;
  2. rehabilitative alimony, which is alimony awarded for a limited and defined duration of time after the granting of divorce; and
  3. permanent or indefinite alimony (essentially a lifetime award of alimony).

Each of these types of alimony have different purpose and different legal and statutory considerations. There are some general trends when it comes to spousal support in Maryland. One trend is away from the tradition of granting one party alimony for life. Now, alimony is more often viewed as a temporary measure to enable the dependent spouse to get the required education and training necessary to improve their own earning potential.

Parties may also reach agreement as to alimony, and the Court is bound by the terms reached by the parties with respect to alimony. The parties may agree that their alimony agreement will not be modifiable by the Court for any reason, or may agree that the agreed upon alimony terms may be modifiable only in very limited or clearly defined circumstances.

Contact our Maryland Alimony Attorneys at Trainor, Billman, Bennett & Milko Today

Given the stated challenges and differing standards and eligibility, it is vitally important to have an attorney experienced and skilled in alimony awards to help you navigate these difficult waters and to assist you in obtaining the best possible outcome for your financial security. At the law firm of Trainor, Billman, Bennett & Milko, LLP, our attorneys are dedicated to helping both payor and payee understand their rights and responsibilities and gauge and protect their interests in divorce cases involving questions of spousal support. Our divorce attorneys, with well over decades of combined family law practice, have extensive experience in helping clients on both sides of the alimony issue pursue fair spousal support determinations through negotiation, mediation, and litigation. Contact us online or call 410-280-1700 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your alimony/spousal support case at our offices in downtown Annapolis.

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