Maryland Alimony Lawyer
Determining alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is one of the more contested issues couples have to work out in their Maryland divorce. Alimony is the financial support paid to one divorcing spouse by the other. The reason alimony is granted is the recipient spouse has a need for the contribution and the paying spouse has the means to pay it.
There are different types of alimony, some of which may involve payments during the divorce process while others begin once the divorce is final. Alimony can be awarded on a temporary basis or even on a permanent basis. If you are asking for or opposing alimony in your pending divorce, it’s important to speak with a Maryland alimony lawyer. At Henault & Sysko Chartered, our family law attorneys have years of experience handling a wide variety of Maryland family law matters, including alimony.
How Alimony is Calculated in Maryland
Like other states, there are statutory criteria that judges use when deciding whether or not to award alimony to a spouse. Just because there is a huge disparity between the income amounts each spouse earns; it doesn’t mean the lower earning spouse will automatically receive alimony. If the lower earning spouse has become dependent on the other, has a significantly smaller estate than the other spouse, and cannot continue the standard of living without him or her, then the court may consider spousal support.
The family court judge will also look at what their standard of living was during the marriage, how long the couple was married, and what the earning potential is of each person after the divorce. Possessions and estates of each spouse will be considered as well.
Unlike some other states, Maryland does consider fault when determining alimony. If there is a “fault divorce,” it means one spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage for one of the following reasons: abuse, adultery, or abandonment.
Types of Alimony in Maryland
There are several different types of alimony in Maryland. The main ones are:
- Permanent Alimony: The court may issue an award for permanent alimony when it’s determined that the recipient’s disability, age, or illness makes it very unlikely that he or she will be able to be self-sufficient, or the standard of living for each spouse would become unconscionably disproportionate.
- Alimony Pendente Lite: This is a temporary alimony award and is paid during the course of litigation in the pending divorce.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: The court will issue an award of rehabilitative alimony when there is a need for alimony for a temporary period until the recipient spouse is able to support himself or herself through training or additional education.
Tax Laws on Alimony
Recent legislative changes had a big impact on couples who are divorcing after December 31, 2018. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes new rules on how alimony is handled for the purposes of the IRS. Recipient spouses no longer have to claim alimony as taxable income, and paying spouses are no longer able to deduct payments on their taxes.
Contact a Maryland Alimony Lawyer
If you need assistance with a Maryland divorce and alimony payments, contact Henault & Sysko Chartered in Glen Burnie, Maryland, to schedule an initial consultation. Let our skilled family law attorneys help with all your legal needs.