Law Office of Dawn M. Green
Call Today: 410-280-2696 A Maryland Family Law Firm

Maryland allows judges to consult alimony formula

A handful of states have enacted formulas for determining alimony awards. In many states, the amount awarded to former spouses following a divorce is completely at the discretion of the presiding judge. Even though these decisions are based on factors like the financial statuses of the spouses, the length of the marriage and the health of each spouse, data shows that average alimony awards tend to be very inconsistent.

Maryland, however, has taken steps to resolve this issue, effectively reducing the chance of overly small or large alimony rulings. While Maryland law stipulates that judges should set alimony awards independently, the state's Supreme Court ruled that it is acceptable for these judges to consult a formula on which to base their decisions. Even though judges can still set alimony awards at whatever amount they see fit, the ruling sets an informal standard for alimony awards that can be referenced by divorcing couples and their attorneys.

Other states have enacted strictly numerical guidelines for temporary alimony, hoping that such measures will make it easier for couples to afford divorce and avoid lengthy litigation. These guidelines typically determine appropriate payments based on each spouse's income and how those figures relate to their combined income. Using the formula, these figures are used to determine alimony payments up until the divorce is finalized.

It is not uncommon for divorcing spouses to disagree on the terms of their marriage dissolution. Alimony payments can be particularly contentious. One spouse may be worried about getting enough money to live, and the other may not want a large portion of the paycheck going to an ex. Since Maryland judges are now allowed to consult alimony formulas, hopefully spousal support decisions will be less varied and increasingly fair.

Source: New York Times, "Ending the Alimony Guessing Game," Alexandra Harwin, 3 July 2011

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Resolve Your Family Legal Concerns, Schedule A Consultation Today.

If you need help with a legal issue regarding your family, we can help. Contact us online or call 410-280-2696 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Law Office of Dawn M. Green
275 West Street
Suite 102
Annapolis, MD 21401

Phone: 410-280-2696
Fax: 410-280-1333
Annapolis Law Office Map

Review Us