Maryland Alimony FAQ. How long does maintenance have to be paid for? The payment period is determined by a judge at the Maryland Family Court. The maintenance period is usually based on the length of the marriage – a commonly used standard for the maintenance period is that one year of maintenance is paid every three years of marriage (however, this is not always the case in every state or judge). Maintenance can also be discontinued after the receiving spouse remarries or lives together.
In some cases, judges can even provide maintenance. What happens if maintenance is not paid? If maintenance is not paid, the debt owed is referred to as maintenance arrears. Residues can be collected through mediation, small claims court or garnishment of wages. Failure to comply with a court order to assist the spouse may also result in contempt for the indictment of the spouse who failed to pay the maintenance payment. Can maintenance be dispensed with through a pre-marital agreement? A pre-agreement is a spouse’s financial marriage contract signed before marriage. Limiting or waiving maintenance rights is a common clause in modern marriage contracts, but some states or municipalities prohibit such maintenance waivers.
Can maintenance be collected if you are not married? The legal concept of maintenance, also known as spouse support, depends on a legal marriage. However, in some areas – particularly those with a concept of common law marriage – courts have granted “palimony” or support payments between unmarried people. However, this generally requires mitigating circumstances.
What is maintenance mediation? If a marriage ends in divorce and maintenance is expected, the spouses can choose to have a maintenance agreement either through litigation (before the Maryland Family Court) or by mutual agreement. A Maryland maintenance mediator can often be brought in to help ex-spouses agree on maintenance and other controversial issues such as property sharing and avoid having to go to court.
How is maintenance payments taxed? At the federal level, all eligible maintenance payments in Maryland are deductible from the payer and are counted as taxable income by the recipient. To qualify as maintenance under the IRS guidelines, the following must apply: Payments are made in cash. The parties live in separate households Payments are made only for maintenance payments (as opposed to child maintenance payments, etc.). Are there other factors that affect maintenance payments in Maryland? Several other factors are often considered by judges based on standards recommended by a national organization.
Maryland Courts can also take this standard into account when making maintenance decisions if it is compatible with Maryland law. Given that the Court has so much discretion, it is very important to have good advice on what maintenance allowance is appropriate in your particular case. The clearer you present your situation to the court, the easier it will be for the court to work with you and your needs, regardless of whether you would give or receive maintenance.