Columbia Spousal Support
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a form of financial assistance provided by one former spouse to another following a divorce or separation. The courts have broad discretion on whether this support is necessary as well as the dollar amount of monthly payments that should be awarded.
Whether you are pursuing alimony or have been asked for spousal support, a dedicated family law attorney could help you protect your rights. Let a Columbia spousal support attorney ensure you are treated fairly throughout the process.
Located in Howard County, Maryland, Columbia is one of the communities that make up the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. With a population of around 105,412 people as of 2020, this census-designated place is home to 10 Villages.
If you are a resident of Columbia, you will be pleased to discover that a recent study named Columbia the fifth-best place to raise a family in America. That said, each family has its own unique challenges, which are part of life. Things like divorce and separation happen regardless of where you live. And when they do, it is important to know where to seek help.
So, if you are looking for a family law attorney to help with issues such as spousal support, Divorce With a Plan, might be able to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
Types of Spousal Support Available in Columbia, MD
There are three basic types of spousal support a judge can award. One of these types is intended to provide for a spouse during the course of the divorce. The other two only go into effect once the divorce is finalized. A spousal support lawyer in Columbia can assist with determining the right type of spousal support to pursue.
Pendente Lite Support
Alimony pendente lite exists to support a spouse as they go through the divorce process. The term pendente lite means pending litigation in Latin.
When the court determines a spouse is likely to receive spousal support following the divorce, they will often award alimony during the course of the divorce as well. This helps ensure that the spouse is not under financial pressure to accept an inadequate settlement offer. However, an award of pendente lite support is primarily to maintain the status quo and will not guarantee a more permanent award in the divorce decree.
The most common form of spousal support, rehabilitative alimony is available for a limited amount of time. This time is generally tied to a certain event, like a spouse obtaining a degree or starting a business. The purpose of this form of alimony is to put a spouse in a position to care for themselves in the long run.
While somewhat uncommon, courts have the power to award indefinite spousal support. As the name suggests, these payments will continue indefinitely until the court takes steps to modify or cancel them. Indefinite support is generally reserved for spouses with disabilities or in situations where there is a large and unfair difference between the two spouses’ living standards.
Determining Frequency of Support Payments
The judge has the final say on how spousal support payments are made. However, the court will typically accept an agreement between the parties on how these payments are to be scheduled. They could include monthly, bi-weekly, or even quarterly payments depending on the circumstances. A spousal support lawyer in Columbia could develop a fair payment schedule that the court would sign off on.
Altering a Support Order
While the courts refer to a divorce decree as a “final order,” they are never truly final. A judge has the power to modify a spousal support order or to terminate it entirely.
The courts have broad discretion to consider alterations to a spousal support decree. Under the law, they are entitled to make changes as justice and circumstances require. Essentially, any change in employment, lifestyle, health, or other major life circumstance could be ground for modifying a support order.
How is Alimony Determined
Several factors come into play when determining alimony. Examples include:
- How long the couple have been married
- Whether one spouse pays for other forms of support
- The incomes of both spouses
- The living standards the spouses had established before the divorce
- How long it would take for the dependent spouse to become self-sufficient
Can Alimony Amount Be Modified?
The court can modify the alimony amount for the sake of justice and fairness. Speak with an experienced alimony lawyer if you wish to petition the court to change an existing order. The attorney will review your case and then brief you on how to proceed.
How a Columbia Spousal Support Attorney From Divorce With a Plan Can Help You
Our law offices can help you understand your rights regarding spousal support. If you are the dependent spouse, knowing what you could potentially receive as spousal support sets the foundation you need to fight for your rights.
But to do this, you will need a plan. That is where our attorneys come in. We can help you devise a plan to tackle your spousal support case, ensuring you receive the best possible outcome.
By letting us represent you throughout the process, you can rest assured that we have your best interests at heart. Besides, our experience handling these kinds of cases gives you a hint of what to expect when you allow us to handle your case.
Our founder, Josephia Rouse, Esq., has extensive experience providing common-sense solutions to complex familial problems. She began her family law career back in 2013, amassing priceless experience both as a family law mediator and a Best Interest Attorney.
Our second senior attorney, Nedra D. Ayers, Esq., a native of Baltimore City, has over 15 years of experience as an advocate litigator. Finally, our third senior attorney, Ashley D. Edwards, Esq., brings more than 11 years’ experience to the table, completing the fantastic trio of family law attorneys.
Contact Divorce With a Plan to schedule a consultation right now. We are open Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM.