Spousal support, also known as alimony, has changed over the decades alongside changes in traditional views of marriage. Where men used to solely be required to pay their wives alimony upon divorce under the presumption that they would be at an economic disadvantage, this is no longer the case. If you have a current spousal support order and are seeking changes, speak with an Ellicott City, MD spousal support modification lawyer who can assist in seeking court-approved modifications.
The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, are far from rooted in traditional views and assumptions regarding spousal support. Instead, our attorneys have decades of experience reviewing the actual circumstances of our clients and presenting arguments and evidence in court. Focusing on the legal rights of our clients, we pursue solutions and outcomes that most appropriately reflect their present realities in Ellicott City, MD.
When you and your ex-spouse divorced, you were likely provided a divorce settlement agreement by the judge presiding over your case. Spousal support is ordered for a set time and amount to be paid to the lesser-earning spouse upon the marriage separation. While the court’s intention was to leave both spouses with a balanced and equitable agreement, circumstances are likely to change over time.
You don’t have to deal with a spousal support agreement that has become unfair after your or your ex’s life has changed. These orders are not made to be permanent, and they should always reflect your life currently, not just at the time you were divorced.
Maryland has no set guidelines for determining whether and how much spousal support should be paid or for how long. Judges will tend to consider the same set of factors and present what they believe is fair. Likewise, there are no particular guidelines stipulating allowances for modifications. Rather, the requesting party must present a strong argument with supportive evidence.
Some changes in your life circumstances are adequate in most cases to justify a modification. You may be eligible for a reduction or termination of spousal support if:
While some life circumstances remain under the discretion of the judge to evaluate, there are other changes in circumstance that work to provide an objective reason to terminate spousal support orders. They include:
While procuring a modification to a spousal support order is possible, it can be quite difficult, depending on the details of your case. This is primarily because the burden of proof lies on the one seeking the change.
It is essential that you work with a skilled attorney with experience handling spousal support modification cases. They can guide you through the process, ensuring you present proper documentation and a strong case. Whether you want your spousal support payments to increase, decrease, or cease, our attorneys can help you establish legal justification.
A: Alimony and spousal support payments can be modified, changed, extended, or concluded after a court order, provided circumstances have substantially changed enough to warrant a legal adjustment. If either ex-spouse requests the change, the court will consider the justification in relation to the existing alimony amount.
After filing a formal motion to modify, there will be a scheduled court hearing in which to present arguments and corresponding evidence. A spousal support modification attorney can represent you in these hearings.
A: In order to reduce your required spousal support in Maryland, you must formally file a motion to modify and attend a scheduled hearing to present arguments and evidence justifying the lower amount. The court will then consider the modification.
Generally, the court will only entertain petitions in which a significant life change has occurred, such as having income change by 35% or more. If your ex-spouse has remarried, however, this is usually substantial grounds for having alimony requirements dropped.
A: In Maryland, spousal support is, by definition, generally temporary. When establishing alimony, the court will consider the length of the marriage and the financial security and needs of each spouse. A couple married for a few months will have a shorter term by comparison.
Generally, spousal support will otherwise end under the following conditions: 1) either spouse dies; 2) the spouse receiving support remarries; or 3) the court determines it is fair to terminate the order to maintain equity.
A: In Maryland, the family court system has no predetermined guidelines or formula for determining amounts required in spousal support. Instead, the judge will weigh several factors, such as each spouse’s circumstances, needs, income, earning capacity, and education.
They will then determine what they believe to be a fair and equitable arrangement that seeks to rehabilitate the lesser-earning spouse following the divorce. It is important that you work with an attorney to present your case accurately to the court.
Spousal support has long been an important component of divorce settlement, with Maryland courts seeking to leave both spouses in a position of economic equity following a split. However, as times change, so do presumptive notions about what is equitable.
If your circumstances have changed in a manner that demands reconsidering spousal support arrangements, speak with a member of the team at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA. Our attorneys can guide you through your legal options. Contact our office for a free review of your case.
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