Does Maryland Allow Third-Party Alimony Payments?
Alimony under Maryland family law is a type of spousal support available after divorce. This type of support is designed to help a former spouse become self-sufficient after their marriage ends. The Maryland courts evaluate various factors to determine the appropriate amount and duration of alimony support payments.
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 11-101 establishes that either spouse may receive alimony support payments. Though if the parties entered into a valid agreement that relates to alimony, the Maryland courts are bound by such an agreement.
How are Alimony Payments Determined?
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 11-106 furnishes the factors for determining the amount and duration of alimony. Under this section, the Maryland courts must consider numerous factors before awarding alimony. These factors include but are not limited to:
- The ability and time needed to gain self-sufficiency;
- Standards of living established during marriage;
- Age, physical condition, and mental capacity of each party;
- Contributions of each party to the marriage; and
- Financial resources and needs of each party.
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 11-108 explains when alimony support payments terminate. Under this section, an alimony award terminates if:
- Either party dies;
- The recipient remarries; or
- The court determines that termination is necessary to avoid a harsh and inequitable outcome.
When are Third-Party Alimony Payments Allowed?
Maryland Code of Family Law Section 11-109 enables the state courts to authorize alimony payments to a third-party “designee.” Under this section, a designee refers to:
- A support enforcement agency that is legally authorized to receive alimony payments on behalf of the intended recipient; or
- A person designated by the courts as a trustee or guardian who is legally authorized to receive alimony payments on behalf of the intended recipient.
Section 11-109 requires any third-party designee to send alimony payments to the intended recipient and keep a record of:
- The amount of each payment;
- The due date for each payment; and
- The name and address of each party involved.
In addition, each party involved must inform the designee of any:
- Change in address; and
- Other fact(s) that could affect administration of the alimony order.
In the event that a person fails to make required alimony payments, the intended recipient or the designee may initiate an enforcement proceeding. Furthermore, the State’s Attorney may serve as the designee’s representative in any such alimony enforcement proceeding.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you need legal assistance with alimony under Maryland family law, it can be incredibly helpful to contact a skilled Bel Air alimony attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including alimony. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.