Alimony is one of the most controversial parts of a divorce property division settlement. According to some, spousal support is essentially a financial penalty which a new spouse must subsidize. According to others, alimony may be the only thing that keeps divorced ex-spouses out of poverty. This controversy is especially acute in Maryland. For the most part, Terrapin State judges decide the amount and duration of payments based on the facts of the case as opposed to legal guidelines.
At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, our Columbia spousal support modification lawyers look past the controversies and posturing. Instead, we focus on the circumstances of your case and the law which applies to these facts. We also focus on your legal and financial rights, especially when it comes to spousal support modification. When the facts change, we look for solutions which reflect the new reality and also uphold your rights.
No divorce or other family law order is set in stone, because things change. Relocations are a good example. If the residential parent moves, it’s usually necessary to adjust the frequency and/or length of the children’s visits with the nonresidential parent. The same thing applies in alimony situations, as there are generally three kinds of modifications:
Especially with regard to payment modifications, it’s important to note that informal “side agreements” are unenforceable. For example, if Wife voluntarily agrees to a payment reduction, she could later change her mind and file a motion to collect past-due alimony. In that situation, Husband has no recourse.
In general, the requesting party has the burden of proof to show changed financial circumstances. Some examples include:
These changes must be permanent and involuntary. An obligor cannot quit a high-paying job or take early retirement to avoid a spousal support obligation.
Dating relationships are thorny issues as well. Some people claim that some obligees play the system by avoiding remarriage. But not every dating relationship affects financial matters. So, additional discovery is often necessary to determine the truth of the matter.
Mediation or mutual agreement resolves most alimony modification disputes, but some of them do go to trial.
Alimony changes often have far-reaching consequences. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Columbia, contact the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Howard County and nearby jurisdictions.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044