Matrimonial Law Lawyer Rockville MD
If you are going through a divorce in Maryland, you or your spouse may qualify for temporary spousal support. Spousal support – also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance – is often awarded to a spouse if they do not have the same financial resources that the other spouse does and has relied on the other spouse’s income during the marriage. A matrimonial law lawyer Rockville MD clients recommend can evaluate your situation and determine if spousal support applies in your situation.
Although spousal support theoretically only applies to support payments while the divorce is pending, in practice, many family court judges carry over the amount to the final decree, or at least use the temporary support as a blueprint. As such, it is critically important to have aggressive representation as early as possible, because the decisions that a judge makes in the beginning stages of a divorce case are sometimes difficult to reverse.
Unlike child support, for which the courts use a specific formula to determine what the monthly payment should be, there is no calculation formula for spousal support in Maryland. This means that a divorce judge has much discretion when determining if and how much a spouse should be awarded in monthly support payments. In some cases, your family law lawyer Rockville MD residents trust may be able to negotiate an agreeable amount with your spouse’s attorney. As long as that amount is fair to both sides, the judge will usually approve it. If both sides cannot agree, then the court will decide.
In most cases, the court will award the support as monthly payments, partly because there is no way to tell how long the divorce process will last. The judge also normally issues an order that neither party can remove the other from a health insurance plan. Take note that, once the divorce is final, most health insurance companies will not cover an ex-spouse, so these persons must seek alternate arrangements.
In order to determine if spousal support should be awarded and how much that support should be, the judge applies a number of factors to determine the amount, including:
- Relative ages and health of the parties
- The receiving spouse’s current ability and future ability to support themselves
- The length of time it would take the receiving spouse to gain the education or find employment to become self-supporting
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Financial circumstances of each party
- Provisions for minor children
- Any noneconomic contributions during the marriage
- Waste of marital assets
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
Are You Going Through a Divorce?
If you are going through a divorce, there are many issues that will need to be addressed. While temporary spousal support is an important component of an overall divorce settlement, you also want to make sure you are protected when it comes to division of property and assets, child support, child custody, and more. For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Rockville MD matrimonial law lawyer, call the Law Office of Daniel Wright today.
Not all married couples in Maryland who decide they do not want to live together file for divorce. There are many couples who decide that a legal separation is a way to go. A legal separation is an order issued by the court that specifies what the rights and responsibilities of each spouse are, although the couple is still legally married. There are many reasons why a couple may decide to file for a legal separation instead of a divorce. For some couples, they are not sure if they want to actually end their marriage and the separation is a trial run. Other couples have religious reasons why they cannot divorce. Whatever the reason, a matrimonial law lawyer Rockville MD families recommend can help.
In addition to the reasons mentioned above, there are also financial reasons why a couple may decide to file for a legal separation instead of filing a divorce petition. These include:
Health Insurance Benefits: If one spouse has access to good health insurance benefits and the other does not, the couple may decide not to legally end their marriage in order for the spouse to be able to still be covered. Couples should check with their health insurance provider to make sure that they allow spouses who are legally separated to continue to receive benefits.
Tax Benefits: In many cases, tax burdens are less if a couple is married as opposed to filing under a single status, so a couple will stay legally married in order to obtain that tax relief. However, every state has its own tax laws so it is important to make sure that if you and your spouse file for a legal separation, it will not affect your tax status. A family lawyer Rockville MD clients recommend can also advise.
Social Security Benefits: Under current federal law, a couple must be married for at least 10 years in order to receive social security benefits under your spouse. Although a person cannot file for these benefits until they are 62 years old, at the earliest, a couple may stay legally married for at least 10 years, so they qualify. This is especially important if one spouse was the primary breadwinner while the other spouse was a stay-at-home parent.
Personal Finances: Divorce can be an expensive change in a person’s financial health. Suddenly, instead of a two-income household, you are a one-income household. Yet, the couple no longer wishes to be “married.” A legal separation can specify how belongings and finances will be divided, giving the couple freedom to live as they choose, just unable to remarry since they are still legally married to each other.
Call Our Office Today
If you think a legal separation may be an option for your situation, contact the Law Offices of Daniel Wright to speak with a Rockville MD matrimonial law lawyer. Ask to schedule a free and confidential consultation.