Can Maryland Alimony Include Reasonable Expenses & Medical Benefits?
During the process of and in the aftermath of divorce, the Maryland courts may require alimony payments. This type of spousal support obligation helps address financial imbalances between the parties to help each move forward in a self-sufficient manner. As explained in more detail below, alimony support payments can include reasonable and necessary expenses as well as medical, hospital, and surgical benefits.
When Does Maryland Permit Alimony Support Obligations?
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 11-101 establishes the requirements for awarding alimony. Under this section, the Maryland courts may award support payments to either party upon a legal request for alimony or as part of:
- Limited divorce; or
- Absolute divorce.
The Maryland courts may award alimony support payments to either party. But if the parties to a divorce entered into a marital settlement agreement, the state courts are bound by such an agreement as it relates to alimony.
Under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 11-106, the state courts have the authority to determine:
- The amount of alimony that one party owes to the other party; and
- The duration of time one party must pay alimony to the other party.
Can Maryland Alimony Include Reasonable & Necessary Expenses?
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 11-110 governs when it is possible to include reasonable and necessary in an alimony award. Under this section, the term reasonable and necessary expenses refers to:
- Legal costs;
- Attorney’s fees; and
- Related payments.
In any alimony proceeding C including the initial award or later modification or enforcement C the Maryland courts have the authority to:
- Require one party to pay the reasonable and necessary expenses of the other party; or
- Order reimbursement of reasonable and necessary expenses already paid in an alimony proceeding.
Before awarding reasonable and necessary expenses to either party in an alimony proceeding, the Maryland courts must consider the financial needs and resources of each party. Additionally, the state courts must determine whether there was a substantial justification for prosecuting or defending the alimony proceeding. In the absence of a substantial justification, the Maryland courts will typically award reasonable and necessary expenses.
Can Maryland Alimony Include Medical, Hospital & Surgical Benefits?
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 11-111 addresses medical, hospital, and surgical benefits as part of an alimony award. To be clear, this section deals with medical benefits under a group plan, such as a health insurance plan.
In these situations, the Maryland courts may allocate the costs of medical, hospital, and surgical benefits between the parties. The state courts may also order the continuation or reinstatement of these benefits as part of an alimony award. The requirements of Section 11-111 exist in accordance with applicable federal law.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you need legal assistance with alimony, contact the skilled Bel Air divorce attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered. We are eager to assist you today.