You may have questions about the divorce process, including how Maryland alimony works. Alimony is a key factor that can impact your future. Understanding the process of alimony in Maryland, its payment, and how it is paid, will help you make informed financial decisions and plan for alimony.
What Does Alimony Refer To?
Alimony is a payment made by one spouse to another. Federal law currently states that alimony is not taxable for the recipient and tax-deductible for the payer unless it comes from an award of alimony before 2019.
Alimony is usually paid to the recipient spouse to help him or she become financially independent after a divorce. This is often necessary for situations where one spouse has left the workforce to care for children, or if the spouse relied on the income of the other spouse. Talking about alimony is often complicated by the imbalance in income and earning potential, as well as the length of the marriage.
Keep in mind that alimony cannot be granted before or after a marriage ends. In other words, alimony can only be requested in the context of a divorce. If you end a marriage but decide to apply for alimony later, it will not be allowed. Modifications to alimony that were agreed upon or awarded during a marriage are possible, provided there is an agreement prohibiting modification. The two spouses can negotiate alimony or have it determined by a court.
Types Of Alimony
There are many types of alimony, which depend on the divorce status of the dependent spouse.
- Pendente Lite Alimony
Pendente-lite alimony is paid during divorce proceedings. It is meant to maintain financial stability as it was during divorce proceedings. Pendente lite Alimony is not a guarantee that you will receive or pay alimony after the divorce proceedings are over.
- Rehabilitative Alimony
The most common type is rehabilitation alimony. This type of alimony is usually limited to a specific period based on the needs of the dependent spouse before they can become self-sufficient. Alimony may be granted for two years if the spouse has to complete the education necessary to reenter work. You can end it at any time.
- Indefinite Alimony
Indefinite alimony is not like rehabilitative alimony. It can continue for an indefinite period. Indefinite alimony will be paid if the less-earning spouse is unable to make reasonable progress towards supporting himself or herself, usually due to disability or old age.
Sometimes, indefinite alimony can be awarded when the standard of living of the former spouses is “unconscionably different” or the spouse with the higher income enjoys a higher quality of life. This applies regardless of whether the lower-earning spouse is self-sufficient.
Factors To Consider When Evaluating Alimony
When evaluating alimony during a divorce trial, many factors must be considered. This is in contrast to pendente lite hearings, where the standard is needed vs. ability. These are:
The court will determine the amount and frequency of alimony. The court will determine whether the payments are taxable or tax-deductible once alimony has been awarded. Alimony for agreements made before January 1, 2019, is usually taxable by the recipient and deductible from the payor’s income. Alimony after January 1, 2019, is not tax-deductible or taxable. Modifications to alimony before January 1, 2019, will usually retain their taxable/tax-deductible nature.
What Is Maryland’s Average Life Expectancy For Alimony?
The type of alimony granted by the court will determine how long the alimony will last. Pendente-lite alimony ceases once divorce proceedings are over. It is meant to preserve the standard of living for both spouses during divorce proceedings.
Duration Of Rehabilitative Alimony
The court will fix a date for the end of rehabilitation alimony. This is when the dependent spouse has completed all tasks necessary to allow him or herself to sustain themselves or is close enough to justify the termination of alimony. The timeline can vary from one case to the next.
Indefinite alimony can be continued for an indeterminate amount of time. It ends when either spouse dies or the recipient spouse marries.
Contact A Maryland Divorce Attorney
If the court determines that continuing to pay Alimony is unfair, the court may end it or reduce it. This may happen if continued payment may lead to a harsh or inequitable result.
Law Offices Of Thomas Stahl’s experienced divorce attorneys in Maryland can help you navigate the maze of alimony determinations. They will ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process. Call us today or request a consultation online.