5 FAQs About Alimony in Maryland
The following sections will provide answers to five frequently asked questions about alimony in Maryland.
- What is the Purpose of Alimony in Maryland?
Alimony is a type of spousal support payment that is available during and after divorce. These support payments are designed to address economic imbalances between the divorcing spouses. On a larger level, the Maryland courts must ensure that each award of alimony is fair and equitable to both of the divorcing spouses.
- What are the Requirements for Alimony in Maryland?
Under Maryland Family Code section 11-101, there are several ways a court may grant alimony. Specifically, a Maryland court may grant alimony to either spouse:
- Pursuant to a legal request for alimony;
- As part of an order granting an annulment;
- As part of an order granting a limited divorce; or
- As part of an order granting an absolute divorce.
If the spouses agree on the terms of alimony in a valid marital separation agreement, however, the court must adhere to those terms.
- Is it Possible to Receive Alimony Indefinitely in Maryland?
In most cases, the Maryland courts award alimony for a fixed period of time. Though as detailed in Maryland Family Code section 11-106, there are two ways to receive an indefinite award of alimony. Either the court:
- Determines that one spouse is incapable of becoming self-sufficient; or
- Determines that the spouses have an unconscionable gap in standards of living.
- Is it Possible to Extend or Adjust Alimony in Maryland?
Generally speaking, an award of alimony from a Maryland court is final. Absent extraordinary circumstances, it is not possible to extend or modify the award of alimony.
That being said, there is an exception under Maryland Family Code section 11-107. A Maryland court may extend alimony support payments if:
- The spouse receiving alimony requests an extension within the appropriate time window; and
- The extension is necessary to prevent unfair or harsh consequences.
Additionally, Section 11-107 allows a Maryland court to adjust the amount of alimony in the interest of justice or fairness.
- When Do Alimony Support Payments End in Maryland?
Under Maryland Family Code section 11-108 and as outlined previously, there are several reasons for the termination of alimony support payments. Specifically, alimony support payments end:
- If either spouse dies;
- Once the court-ordered duration of alimony expires;
- If the spouse receiving alimony gets remarried;
- According to the terms of a marital separation agreement; or
- If termination is necessary to prevent unfair or harsh consequences.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you have legal questions about alimony or divorce in Maryland, it can be distinctly constructive to consult with a dependable family law attorney. Based in Bel Air, Maryland, the attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 55 years of combined legal experience in matters of criminal defense and family law, including alimony and divorce. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.