Alimony is the payment of money for support of a spouse or former spouse. After evaluating the below factors, the court may order a spouse to pay rehabilitative or indefinite alimony:
- Ability of receiving spouse to be self-supporting;
- Time needed for education or training to become self-supporting;
- The ability of the supporting spouse to support;
- The family’s standard of living standard;
- The duration of the marriage;
- Each spouse’s contributions to the well-being of the family both monetary and non-monetary;
- The age, physical, and mental condition of each spouse;
- Agreements between the spouses;
- Financial needs, limitations, obligations, and resources of each spouse; and
- The grounds for divorce.
Alimony can be retroactive, rehabilitative, and/or indefinite and pursuant to a pendente lite order, can be assessed prior to the divorce trial.
Absent an express agreement set forth in a Marital Separation Agreement, court-ordered alimony terminates upon remarriage of the recipient spouse. In Maryland, a court can modify an alimony award upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances justifying a modification, unless a provision in the parties’ Marital Separation Agreement prohibits such modification.
Generally, Alimony may be taxable to the receiving spouse and deductible by the supporting spouse, provided it meets the tax code’s definition of alimony. Because of this, it is imperative that you seek legal advice.
Support is the payment of money to another spouse intended for the care of a child. Maryland Courts calculate Child Support in accordance with the Maryland Child Support Guidelines based upon a presumption that the amount shown for support in the guidelines is correct. However, the amount may be adjusted up or down if it is shown to be inappropriate or unjust under the circumstances of the case, or based upon the terms of a Marital Settlement Agreement.
The Maryland Child Support Guidelines are driven by the “actual income” of each spouse, as defined therein. Generally, the guidelines and its definitions account for deliberate choices of a spouse to be ‘voluntarily impoverished’ and other factors to determine actual income and potential income.