Divorce or spousal separation matters in a Frederick Family Court may involve an equitable split of property between the two parties. Oftentimes, this involves the distribution of assets and the ordering of support. However, there are some cases where one spouse has substantially more pension.
A Frederick alimony lawyer could help you to make a demand for alimony during any divorce or separation proceeding. They can work to help you understand the alimony laws and the litigation process. In addition, a family law attorney could help to file complaints for a lack of payment or to move for a modification when an existing order is no longer appropriate.
When an Alimony Order May be Appropriate
A divorce must be a complete and final end of a marriage between the two spouses. The goal of the court is to leave each party equally equipped to move forward in their lives. A major part of this equation is potential income. There are some situations where one spouse has been the major earner in the marriage. There are others where one spouse has significantly less education or job training. In these scenarios, a judge may order one spouse to pay alimony.
However, this is never automatic. Maryland Code, Family Law §11-101 says that courts will never assume that alimony is necessary in a case, but that either party to a divorce is welcome to file a motion to request these payments. When considering a motion for alimony, a court will consider many factors. These include but are not limited to:
- The ability of each party to earn a living
- The length of the marriage
- The contributions of each party to the marriage
- The ability of the party asking for alimony to obtain a job
It is essential to note that listed nowhere in these criteria is the moving party’s gender. While alimony may have a reputation as being something for divorced wives, in reality, the court will examine each party’s situation from a gender-neutral perspective. A Frederick alimony attorney could help people to understand the legal basis for alimony and the factor that the courts will consider in an alimony case.
The Legal Effect of an Alimony Order
Any alimony order carries the full weight of the law. This means that the payor is obligated to make payments for as long as the court determines necessary. A failure to so do can bring serious legal consequences.
Parties who do not receive alimony as ordered may petition the court to open a contempt case against the payee. If the court finds that a payee did, in fact, miss payments, the court may garnish wages, place liens on property, or even sentence a guilty party to jail.
However, people who are having trouble making alimony payments do not need to suffer this fate. Md. Code, Fam L §11-107(a) says that a modification to an alimony order is appropriate if, “…circumstances arise that would lead to a harsh and inequitable result…” Examples of these change in circumstances may include a recipient finishing a college degree, getting remarried, or receiving a major promotion at work. It may include the payor losing a job or becoming disabled.
A alimony lawyer in Frederick could help individuals to evaluate the continuing effect of an alimony order on their lives and to file motions for contempt or modification as necessary to continue to protect their rights.
Let a Frederick Alimony Attorney Assist You
The ultimate purpose of any marital separation is to leave both spouses on equitable financial ground. However, there are some situations where the distribution of assets, income, and debts cannot accomplish this goal. When this is the case, either party may petition the court to consider the question of alimony. This may result in one party making regular payments to the other in order to level the playing field.
A Frederick alimony lawyer could help to press for your interests during an alimony hearing. This includes filing motions asking for alimony, fighting back against the imposition of alimony orders, and even asking the court to modify an existing order. The presence of an alimony order will have an immense impact on your life; let a qualified attorney fight for you and schedule an appointment today.