How Does Maryland Calculate Alimony During a Divorce?
Alimony is a type of support payment that occurs during or after divorce. Often referred to legally as spousal support, alimony exists to address a financial or other imbalance between a divorcing couple. The disadvantaged spouse can make progress toward self-sufficiency with regular alimony payments for a fixed period of time.
In Maryland, a court of law calculates the appropriate amount and duration of alimony, leveraging a number of factors to make an equitable decision. As established in Code of Maryland 11-106, there are a number of important restrictions on alimony. The following sections will provide key insights into the boundaries and calculation of alimony in Maryland.
What are the Boundaries of Alimony in Maryland?
The boundaries for an award of alimony in Maryland appear under Section 11-106(a). Specifically, a court of law decides the appropriate amount and duration of alimony. The starting point begins once either spouse files for alimony. And once the alimony period concludes, it is not possible for additional alimony payments to accrue.
How is Alimony Calculated in Maryland?
The formula for calculating alimony in Maryland appears under Section 11-106(b). On a macro level, any award of alimony must be fair and balanced. In order to make a fair and balanced decision, the Maryland courts rely on 14 factors, including the:
- Capability of each spouse to live in a self-supporting manner;
- Standard of living of the spouses during their marriage;
- Length of time the spouses were married;
- Reasons the spouses decided to divorce;
- Familial contributions of each spouse;
- Age of each spouse;
- Health or disability of each spouse; and
- Financial well-being or hardship of each spouse, including all assets and liabilities.
On a related note, it is possible for the spouses to decide on a mutually agreeable approach to alimony in a marital separation agreement. The courts must consider any such agreement in the award of alimony to either spouse.
Is it Possible to Receive Indefinite Alimony in Maryland?
The requirements for indefinite alimony in Maryland appear under Section 11-106(c). A Maryland court may award alimony for an indefinite period of time if:
- Age prevents either spouse from realizing adequate self-support;
- Illness prevents either spouse from realizing adequate self-support;
- Disability prevents either spouse from realizing adequate self-support; or
- Disparity in economic situation creates an unreasonable difference between the spouses.
Outside of the exceptional circumstances listed above, the Maryland courts cannot award alimony for an indefinite period of time. Instead, the courts must determine a fair and balanced duration for the award of alimony.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you have legal questions about alimony, divorce or related considerations, it can be highly rewarding to speak with a trusted family law attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland, have more than 55 years of combined legal experience in matters of criminal defense and family law, including alimony and spousal support. If you need legal help, contact us for an initial consultation.