Alimony, which is the same as spousal support, is recognized and often awarded in Maryland. It is generally a monthly payment from one ex-spouse to the other. Spousal support can last for an indefinite period of time or a specific period of time, depending on the case. Parties can agree to waive spousal support, but by doing so, they would be waiving the right to ever request it in the future. In other words, the law does not allow a person to request spousal support after it’s been waived. If there is a finding by the court that there is no spousal support order or no amount for spousal support, it’s very difficult to modify that.
Spousal support is generally based on each spouse’s income, and the determination is made on a case-by-case basis. Spousal support has to be requested; it is not granted automatically at the time of trial. Spousal support can also be granted pendente lite, which means on a temporary basis prior to trial.
How Is The Amount Of Spousal Support Determined In Maryland?
There are about 12 factors that play into the determination of spousal support, including the circumstances that led to the destruction of marriage, the financial situation of the parties, the amount of support the parties provided to the marital unit, whether either spouse is disabled, whether adultery occurred, the quality of life that the parties lived during the marriage (i.e. the status quo of the parties), the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, the physical and mental condition of the parties, and anything else deemed relevant by the court.
The determination involves a very detailed analysis. In some cases, the defense of voluntary impoverishment comes into play, such as when one party claims that the other party chose to stop working in order to receive alimony.
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