Bethesda, MD Spousal Support

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Bethesda Spousal Support Attorney

How does spousal-support, also known as alimony, work in Bethesda, MD? This article answers this question along with many other questions you may have about spousal support, including:

  • What’s the difference between a temporary and permanent spousal support order?
  • Who qualifies for spousal support?
  • Is spousal support required?
  • How much spousal support can you get?

The terms spousal support and alimony mean the same thing and we will use them interchangeably in this article.

Before going into detail, let’s look at what sets Bethesda, MD, apart from other areas.

Bethesda, MD

Bethesda is the urban center of Montgomery County, Maryland. But it’s not a city. It has no mayor. The Census Bureau calls Bethesda a census designated place (CDP). The Census Bureau should know since it’s located in nearby Prince George’s County.

Whatever the CDP of Bethesda is doing, they must do it right. It has some of the wealthiest zip codes in the United States. It’s the home of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), along with several other medical facilities. It’s also headquarters for corporations such as Marriott International and Lockheed Martin.

If you live in Bethesda, MD, you live in an upscale area. It’s important that you can still afford Bethesda after a divorce. You need a good Bethesda spousal support attorney to achieve that goal.

Spousal Support Laws in Bethesda, MD

Spousal support is where one spouse pays the other spouse to maintain the standard of living the receiving spouse had during the marriage. This is necessary where one spouse earned the bulk of the income while married. Usually, alimony will be temporary until the lower income spouse can increase their income. But in some situations, alimony can be permanent or until situations change.

As a general rule, you must request alimony, and the judge must grant it before the final divorce decree or it won’t be enforceable. After the divorce is final, the spouse that may have qualified for spousal support can’t come back to court and ask for it. But, even after the divorce is final, the former spouse that’s paying alimony can go back to court and ask it to end the alimony requirement.

Spouses sometimes agree on alimony. If they sign an alimony agreement, the court is bound by that agreement. If the court decides on alimony, it’s usually only for monetary payments. The parties’ agreement can be broader than court orders. For example, a spousal support agreement might require one spouse to make the car payment or mortgage payment for the other spouse.

Alimony isn’t only for after the divorce is final. Judges may require it or you may agree to it during the term of a limited divorce or while an absolute divorce is pending.

Temporary vs. Permanent Spousal Support Orders

Spousal support requirements are usually temporary. Temporary spousal support falls into two categories: rehabilitative spousal support and pendente lite alimony.

Rehabilitative alimony is to allow the receiving spouse to get on their feet. For example, it may last for the two years necessary for a former spouse to complete their college education so they’ll qualify for higher income jobs.

Pendente lite means while litigation is ongoing. At the end of the litigation, pendente lite alimony will either convert to temporary alimony, permanent alimony, or it will end. Being granted pendente lite spousal support is no guarantee you will still receive alimony after the divorce is final.

Permanent or indefinite alimony is rare. It’s usually granted when, because of age or illness, you can’t make reasonable progress toward increasing your income. The court may also order indefinite spousal support if the difference in the former spouses’ incomes causes one spouse to have a much lower standard of living.

Permanent spousal support based on differences in income requires an extreme disparity. For example, if one spouse lives in a mansion while the other spouse only has sufficient income to live in a shack, the poorer spouse is likely to receive indefinite alimony.

If the poor spouse remarries and the new spouse is wealthy, that’s grounds for the paying spouse to petition the court for revocation of the alimony order.

What Qualifies As Spousal Support in Bethesda, MD?

Spousal support is monetary payments from one former spouse to another, or direct payments to creditors by one spouse for the benefit of another. To qualify as alimony, you must have signed the alimony agreement before the divorce is final, or the judge must have ordered it before the divorce is final.

Is Alimony Mandatory in Maryland?

Unlike child support, alimony is not required in Maryland. That’s why you need a good Bethesda spousal support attorney to make sure you get every penny you need to maintain your lifestyle for yourself and your children.

How Much Alimony Can a Spouse Get in Maryland?

There isn’t a formula to determine how much spousal support is necessary in Maryland. Alimony comes either at the agreement of the parties or through an order at the discretion of the judge.

To determine how much alimony you should receive, if any, the judge will consider factors including:

  • How long your marriage lasted
  • Your financial situation before and after the marriage ended
  • Your age and health
  • Why you’re getting a divorce

You’re more likely to receive alimony if the marriage lasted a long time. Young people that are in good health are less likely to receive alimony. If the divorce is occurring because you committed adultery or spousal abuse, you’re less likely to receive alimony, whereas your former spouse is more likely to receive alimony.

How a Bethesda Spousal Support Attorney From Divorce With a Plan Can Help You

At Divorce With a Plan, Josephia Rouse and her senior attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience in family law. Our success is based on the careful plans we create with our clients. There’s no one-size-fits-all family law matter. We thoroughly analyze each case and craft a clear plan for your success.

Contact Divorce With a Plan Today

In Bethesda, MD, if you don’t ask for alimony while the case is pending, you do not get spousal support. Don’t make this or any of the other mistakes many parties make. Contact us today so we can get to work helping you. You can reach us online or call us at (240) 269-3592.