Alimony laws are intended to help spouses maintain a comparable standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. Typically, the intention of alimony is to allow the lesser earning spouse the opportunity to become self-sufficient after the marriage. If a divorce judge awards alimony to one spouse, these payments are completely separate from a child support order. If you intend on seeking alimony from your spouse or your spouse is seeking payments from you, contact an alimony lawyer located in Baltimore County for guidance.
What happens if spouses make an out-of-court agreement?
It’s highly advisable to avoid signing any type of agreement with your spouse before discussing the matter with a divorce lawyer. If you do make an out-of-court agreement with your spouse, the court is generally bound to honor that agreement.
Can I seek alimony after I’m already divorced?
After your divorce is finalized, neither ex-spouse can initiate a new request for alimony. If alimony has already been ordered, it may be possible to petition for a modification of alimony payments. Consider talking to your divorce lawyer if you experience a significant change in financial circumstances that might prompt an alimony modification.
What will the court consider when ordering alimony?
There are a range of factors the court will evaluate when deciding whether or not to award alimony to a spouse. Primarily, the judge will consider the ability of each party to be self-supporting, the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage, and any agreement that was already made between the spouses. The court can consider each party’s financial needs and resources, the time necessary for a spouse to receive education or vocational training, the parties’ respective ages, their health, and the mental and physical capabilities of each spouse.
Are there any tax consequences for alimony payments?
Unlike child support-which is neither taxable nor tax deductible-alimony does have tax consequences. Generally, the payor can deduct alimony payments on his or her tax return and the alimony recipient must report it as income.
Does the court enforce alimony payments?
If the court has issued an alimony order or decree, then the court can also enforce that order. If an ex-spouse does not remit alimony payments, the court may decide to hold that person in contempt of court.