Once the court finalizes your divorce, you likely do not want to revisit the financial disagreements that occurred during the proceedings. However, major life decisions may prompt you to seek a change in alimony post-divorce. While most Maryland courts consider their alimony decrees to be final, certain circumstances may result in a modification.
Under which conditions will Maryland courts extend alimony?
If you seek post-divorce modifications to extend your alimony, the state may grant your request if you file before the alimony is scheduled to end. The court may also extend alimony if it deems the extension necessary to prevent unfair living conditions.
Can courts terminate alimony before their scheduled end date?
Typically, spousal support includes a scheduled end date that was given when the divorce was finalized. However, just as the court grants alimony extensions, they may also agree to terminate spousal support early under these conditions:
•Either party dies.
•The person receiving alimony remarries.
•Termination of alimony will prevent a financially unfair outcome.
Can your divorce agreement leave room for later changes?
Although post-divorce changes to alimony can be difficult to seek in most cases, your divorce agreement may provide additional flexibility. If you and your former spouse agree to a modification clause in the divorce agreement, you may have an easier time requesting changes to the alimony amount.
These modification clauses typically include the following circumstances:
•Both parties must agree on the change.
•Either party experiences a significant income change.
•Either party becomes disabled.
How do restrictions benefit both parties?
Occasionally ex-spouses continue to drag disagreements out and return to court after a divorce. Making the alimony difficult to change prevents the ex-spouse from abusing alimony this way. These protections are designed to protect both parties from additional post-divorce financial stress.