How Is the Amount of Alimony or Spousal Support Determined?
The biggest factor in how the amount of alimony or spousal support is determined is how much money that person who is going to be the payor makes; especially when there are children in the marriage. When there are minor children, the court takes into consideration payment made for child support and the ability of the payor to meet their own needs Maryland Family Law Code 11-106 (b)(9). This is to say, there is no requirement that a spouse get a second job to be able to eat or take care of themselves, and that they pay the other spouse money so that person doesn’t have to work when they have the ability to work. A court of equity should not think a result like this is fair. Maryland Family Law Code 12-204 has the full child support guideline numbers.
Can the Amount of Spousal Support Ever Change?
The amount of spousal support may be changed based on material change in circumstance. If there is a disability and it’s indefinite, they can make it permanent. If the person receiving funds now makes substantially more money, then the other person may request that the amount be changed. Remarriage and cohabitation are terms that we usually write into an agreement that spells out that if the recipient of alimony starts living with someone, or remarries, we would terminate the alimony.
Does Committing Adultery Have Any Impact on Alimony in Maryland?
When you look at the factors in determining alimony in Maryland Family Law Code 11-106 , one factor is “the circumstances that contributed to the estrangement of the parties.” Yes, adultery does matter, but it’s not as big of a factor as it once was. Adultery may matter more, however, when it comes to child custody cases. If the marriage is going to end because of adultery, then the court may look more favorably at the person who hasn’t committed adultery in custody cases as someone who may be more suited to be awarded custody the kids, as compared to the spouse who is technically at fault.
What Important Information Regarding Alimony Should Someone Be Aware of in a Divorce?
They just need to be realistic and a lot of folks are very unrealistic, as far as their ability to get spousal support or how much they’re going to get and for how long. In many cases now both husband and wife are gainfully employed and they are self-supportive. A lot of homes are two-wage earners homes, so it’s just very rare that we have to deal with alimony unless there is a huge disparity in income.
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