Guide to Spousal Support in Maryland
Spousal Support in Maryland
The state of Maryland has fairly relaxed laws regarding spousal support. The state didn’t even have provisions for spousal support in Maryland until 1980, and the laws are still simple. A judge will consider many factors if the case is brought to court, but two partners can reach an agreement outside of court as well.
If the case appears in court, a judge may go through any number of steps to reach a final settlement. Since the state has no official formula, a judge may adopt the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer’s standard calculation in order to obtain a rough estimate for spousal support in Maryland. The formula works in the following way:
Spousal Maintenance= (30% of supporter’s gross income) – (20% of the supported party’s gross income)
The total income of the supported spouse including their gross income and support received cannot exceed 40% of the combined gross income of the parties.
Although the AAML’s formula sets standards for the duration of maintenance, the state of Maryland does not adopt the durational factors set forth by the AAML. It is important to note that the calculator on this website for spousal support in Maryland will give you a rough estimate as well. The calculator adopts the AAML formula for Maryland, but the interactive tool also adopts several deviational factors used by the Maryland court. Every figure is an estimate, and only a judge has the final say on spousal support in Maryland.
What are the different types of Spousal Support in Maryland?
Maintenance may either be awarded during the pre-trial procedures or after the final settlement. If the support is awarded before the final settlement, it is known as “alimony pedente lite.” This type of maintenance simply lets a spouse maintain their standard of living through the divorce until a settlement is reached.
The two types of spousal support in Maryland awarded before the final divorce decree are explained below:
This type of support allows a spouse to become financially stable. A spouse may use this type of maintenance to go back to school or further their vocational skills to become more hirable on the job market.
Permanent or Indefinite Maintenance
This type of support can last a very long amount of time. There are two types of situations in which this type of support is awarded:
1) If you can’t support yourself because of a mental or physical illness
2) If the other spouse’s standard of living is “unconscionably disparate” from the other spouse—meaning that their standard is largely and unfairly different than the spouse struggling financially.
Some factors may affect the amount of spousal support in Maryland someone receives, such as:
• each party’s ability to be self-supportive
• the standard of living each party maintained during the marriage
• the length of the marriage
• contributions to the rest of the family during the marriage
• health and age of each spouse
• the collective total of financial resources for each party
How do I file for Spousal Support in the state of Maryland?
There is no official form for spousal support in the state of Maryland. Instead, you need to specify if you are seeking maintenance in the initial divorce complaint. A court my order temporary support if a judge deems you are in need of immediate financial support. Otherwise, the amount of spousal support, if any, is determined in the final judgment before the divorce becomes final.