The establishment of a spousal support order could mean the difference between relative comfort and destitution following a divorce. While a court will never assume that you are entitled to alimony, any party in a divorce, regardless of gender, can ask a court to issue an order requiring the other person to pay alimony or support.
This can result in monthly payments that could help you to find time to get a job, to continue your education, or to find a new place to live. A court’s order requiring the payment of spousal support carries the full power of the law, and any person who fails to make payments could face severe consequences.
A Rockville spousal support lawyer could help to answer all your alimony and support questions. They can fight in court to convince a judge to enact an order, file motions to modify existing orders, and even bring cases alleging a failure to pay.
Establishing a Spousal Support Order
Spousal support, or alimony as it is known in state law, is always an option in a divorce or annulment case. According to Md. Code, Family Law §11-101, courts will consider any motion/complaint filed by either party to establish support payments.
The purpose of alimony is to allow one spouse the time it takes to become financially independent following a separation. It is not used to punish a wrongdoer in a divorce, nor is it intended for the support of children.
According to Md. Code, Family Law §11-106, a court will consider many factors when choosing to enact a support order. These include, but are not limited to: the ability of each person to earn a living, the length of the marriage, the ages of the parties, the contributions of each party to the relationship, the health of the parties, the reason for the break up of the marriage, and whether the asking party has the education or experience to get a job.
A Rockville spousal support lawyer could help to clarify Maryland’s alimony laws and to pursue new motions/complaints in court to establish spousal support orders.
When is a Change in an Alimony Order Appropriate?
While a court may establish a spousal support order at the appropriate time, the opportunities for the parties to move for a change/modification in terms is limited. A court may order the payment of alimony for a set period, or for an indefinite one. In either case, the amount that the payor must provide is set in stone every month unless modified at a later time by the court, or by agreement of the parties.
The only way to change these terms is to move for a modification. Under Md. Code, Family Law §11-107(a), courts have the authority to extend an order of alimony if “…circumstances arise that would lead to a harsh and inequitable result and the recipient petitions for an extension during the period.”
Additionally, courts may hear a motion to change the amount of a support order on a petition from either party. It is important to understand the circumstances under which a support order may be modified and what is required under Maryland law. A Rockville spousal support lawyer could help to modify an existing order or to fight back against any proposed changes by the opposing party.
Speak with a Rockville Spousal Support Attorney Today
The establishment of a proper spousal support order, or alimony, may be key to your financial future. Receiving these payments may allow you some time to get a job, finish your education, or to simply come to terms with your new life. On the other hand, the imposition of a harsh order may cripple your financial future if you are made to pay.
Courts attempt to remain fair in all alimony cases, but an attorney could help to present evidence in a convincing way that works to your advantage. A Rockville spousal support lawyer could also help to modify existing orders or even to file complaints that a payor has not provided all necessary payments. Contact an attorney today to learn more about spousal support laws in Rockville.