How Is Spousal Support Calculated Under Maryland Law?
Unlike many states, Maryland has no standard formula for determining spousal support awards during a divorce. Instead, a judge must rely on a variety of factors listed in the state’s laws to determine whether to award alimony, in what amount, and for how long.
Some of the factors that a judge must consider to make a fair decision include:
- The ability of the economically disadvantaged spouse to support themselves
- The ability of the economically advantaged spouse to pay
- The financial resources and requirements of each party
- The time it would take for the spouse seeking alimony to find employment
- The standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage
- The reasons for the divorce
- The length of the marriage
- Each party’s contribution to the marriage and the family
- The age and condition of each party
- Whether or not the parties have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
When determining how long alimony should last, a court may consider awarding indefinite alimony if age, illness or disability keeps the economically disadvantaged spouse from supporting himself or herself. A similar determination can be made to avoid an unconscionably unfair result.
In some cases, the couple may choose to avoid leaving this decision to a judge and will instead work together to create a separation agreement. In addition to including the terms about alimony, these agreements can contain provisions about property division, child custody, child support and visitation. While they are not automatically accepted by courts, the legal system favors this type of resolution; judges will typically give the people entering into these agreements wide latitude to make decisions for themselves.
To learn more about alimony awards and agreements, contact the knowledgeable La Plata divorce attorneys at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.