DC and Maryland Alimony Lawyers
ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE & LITIGATION
Despite alimony serving the purpose of allowing parties to mitigate financial disruption at the end of a marriage, this is a contentious issue in many divorce cases. When the divorcing spouses have significant income differences, or their union lasted a decade or more, alimony could be automatic in a divorce proceeding. The length and amount of support are typically part of a dissolution agreement but could terminate early if the receiving spouse remarries.
What Is Alimony?
One of the more complicated aspects of divorce is how the court determines whether a spouse receives alimony and the type received. In Maryland, one of the below types of maintenance could be ordered:
A court will consider temporary alimony (pendente lite) to maintain the receiving spouse’s financial normalcy during the pending divorce litigation. It typically ends once the dissolution is finalized.
This alimony type is typically part of a divorce settlement in which a long-term marriage of a decade or more is ending. One party cannot support themselves due to infirmity, age, or never worked outside the home. They can no longer pursue a new career skill. This alimony support usually ends when the receiving spouse dies or remarries.
Spouses receiving this form of alimony require financial support while undergoing training to become self-supportive. This award lasts for the duration of time it takes to achieve this goal.
How is the amount of alimony determined?
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living parties had during the marriage
- The physical and mental health of the divorcing parties
- Age of the spouses
- Available financial resources and needs each partner
- How each spouse contributed to the marriage financially and non-financially
- The length of time necessary for a spouse to obtain training or schooling to be employable
- What factors contributed to the divorce
- Any existing pre- or postnuptial agreements
- Whether the paying party can do so while meeting their own needs
- If an alimony award would qualify the paying spouse for medical assistance sooner than expected
How Long Does Alimony Last
As mentioned earlier, an alimony order’s duration can depend on several factors, including the type of support ordered, if a spouse dies, or the receiving party remarries.
Since spousal support could come in the form of a lump-sum payment or get paid monthly, a divorce settlement must include clear terms of its duration and amount to be paid. This agreement will also outline whether modification by the court is possible in the future. If you are unsure of your alimony order’s terms, it is crucial to speak with one of the highly qualified attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl right away. We have years of practice experience in family law issues like alimony and can assess your current situation to determine what obligations you have under your agreement.
What If a Spouse Cannot Afford Their Alimony Order?
Suppose a court-ordered alimony in your divorce case, and you cannot afford to pay your obligation. In that case, you must speak to an experienced lawyer right away about your situation. Depending on the circumstances causing you to fall behind in payments, the court presiding over your case has several options available, some of which could be financially devastating.
Non-payment could result in the sale of your assets to satisfy your outstanding support, garnishment of your income, or potentially facing contempt of court charges that can lead to jail time. You could request a modification of your alimony orders, but this requires a significant change in your circumstances that prevent you from paying. The courts take enforcement of their orders seriously, and you should not risk going to court alone to explain your default.
Rely on Our Alimony Attorneys to Represent You
Whether you are currently negotiating alimony demands in a divorce settlement or are struggling to make your ordered obligations, The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl can provide you solid legal advice and experienced representation. Contact our firm today at (410) 696-4326 or (202) 964-7280, or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation and learn more about what rights you have under state law regarding your legal matter.