When Does Alimony Or Spousal Support Begin?


Spousal support can begin on a temporary basis while the case is pending. When parties file, the financially dependent spouse typically still needs the bills to be paid for, so they will ask for pendente lite alimony at the beginning of the case. Pendente lite is the Latin term for “pending litigation.” A pendente lite hearing is typically a three hour hearing that takes place one to three months into the case that will resolve some temporary issues. The dependent spouse could receive a temporary support order at that pendente lite hearing. The court typically likes to preserve the status quo: if one of the spouses is already paying the mortgage, the car payments and all of the expenses, then the court will likely order that to continue. After that, the parties would have to wait until the final hearing in order to determine whether that award is going to be permanent or whether it will change.

Can Someone Get Support While They Are Separated Prior To Divorce?

Yes, you can get support while you’re separated or while you’re just waiting for your final divorce hearing. You could get child support or alimony.

How Is The Amount Of Alimony Or Spousal Support Determined?

For spousal support, there are various factors that the court considers. The most important ones are the health, age, and financial circumstances of each party, as well as the need and ability to pay. For pendente lite alimony, the reason for the divorce doesn’t matter. The question the court needs to answer is who has the ability to pay and can they pay what is needed by the dependent spouse. If there is a need and there is an ability to pay, then it will likely be ordered.

Can The Amount Of Alimony Ever Be Modified?

If the financial circumstances of the parties change, then they can move to modify unless they’ve agreed that it’s non-modifiable. When parties agree to alimony, it’s usually non-modifiable, but if alimony was court-ordered and something changes, then it can usually be modified.

How Does The Commission Of Adultery Impact Alimony Or Spousal Support In Maryland?

Adultery does not really matter for custody purposes, because the court has to focus on whether or not a person is a good parent, regardless of whether they were a good spouse. Unless you can really make a connection to that significant other having a negative impact on the child, or the child is suffering in some way because of that significant other, then custody issues usually are not affected. In terms of property, adultery can be factored into the division of the assets, whereby the victim of the affair may receive a bigger portion of the assets.

What Information Should Someone Be Aware Regarding Spousal Support Of Alimony In Maryland?

Sometimes the court will require that the spouse who is seeking alimony be evaluated by a rehabilitation expert. That person typically meets with the party who needs financial support and determines their potential for earnings based on their work history, experience, health and the market. Sometimes it’s easy to prove that the spouse has the ability to pay, but many times the income is hard to trace, especially if they get paid in cash or deposit the finds into someone else’s account. It will be a tough alimony case if we can’t prove clearly that the person has the ability to pay.

For more information on Initiation Of Spousal Support & Alimony, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 340-1911 today.

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