When there’s a large disparity in income, assets, debts, etc. some spouses fear life without the financial contribution from their spouse and ask if they would be entitled to alimony. The answer is maybe.
Spouses take on various financial roles in a marriage. Some stay home, some work part-time while the other is the breadwinner, and some play equal roles. When there’s a large disparity in income, assets, debts, etc. some spouses fear life without the financial contribution from their spouse and ask if they would be entitled to alimony. The answer is maybe. This week’s #FamilyFriday article breaks down the road to obtaining alimony.
In Maryland, the Court has a number of factors it must consider when determining an alimony award. Some of these factors include each parties ability to be self-supporting, a party’s ability to obtain suitable employment, length of marriage, standard of living, the age of each party, any agreements between the parties and the health of the parties. Some factors play bigger roles in the Court’s decision-making process than others. For example, a spouse married for 30 years, in their 60s, and having been a stay at home parent may be in a greater position of obtaining alimony than a marriage less than 5 years with both spouses making equal salaries.
After analyzing the various factors the Court can: (a) decline to award alimony, (b) award temporary alimony, or (c) award permanent/indefinite alimony. When presenting your case for an alimony award, your attorney should strongly advocate those factors which play an important role in your case. Your attorney should place emphasis on the length of marriage, the disparity in income, the likelihood of the less economically stable spouse to become more economically stable, the need for additional education, and, if applicable, highlight the circumstances surrounding the divorce. A party who has physically and emotionally abused their spouse who is seeking alimony would play a far great role in the Court’s decision making than the couple who is seeking a divorce based on a voluntary separation.
In the event you and your spouse can reach an agreement about alimony, you should also consider some potential alternatives. The alimony paying spouse may not want to have a monthly payment but may be willing to make a one-time large sum payment. For example, perhaps the alimony paying spouse would rather offer you their share of the equity in the home than pay you alimony each month for the next 5 years. When reaching an agreement you should speak with an attorney to be sure you don’t, or understand the consequences if you do, waive alimony.
Divorce is an emotional roller coaster. You may not know what questions to ask, what rights you have, and what you may be entitled to but the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC today can help!
When a person is no longer able to appropriately care for themselves or manage their property, it is important to ensure that they are protected.
Many people find themselves in a precarious situation when their spouse, parent, sibling, friend, etc. are no longer able to feed themselves regularly, pay their bills, see the doctor, and generally not take care of their person or finances. When a person is no longer able to appropriately care for themselves or manage their property, it is important to ensure that they are protected. When a person will not or cannot voluntarily seek assistance on their own, you may have to request the Court to intervene in order to ensure their safety. On this week’s #TuesdayTips article, the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC want to discuss the process of filing for Guardianship.
When filing a Petition for Guardianship of the Person and/or Property, the Petitioner is seeking the Court to declare the alleged disabled person incompetent and therefore unable to care for themselves and/or manage their property/finances. This would let the Petitioner, when appointed Guardian, to act on behalf of the alleged disabled person and make sure they are taken care of physically and financially.
The steps to file the Petition can be confusing as the Petition requires specific information and documents for filing. For example:
- The Petition requires various information about the alleged disabled person, including but not limited to their finances, the purpose of the filing, the diagnosis, etc.
- The Petition requires time sensitive certificates related to the alleged disabled person’s disability from two medical providers.
- After filing, the Court will appoint the alleged disabled person an attorney to represent them in the proceeding. The attorney will meet and speak with the alleged disabled person and contact anyone else, including the Petitioner, that s/he feels is necessary.
- The Petitioners will also be required to notify certain people and facilities that would need to be made aware of the Petition.
- Finally, there will be a hearing to decide whether the findings are such that the Court will declare the person incompetent and appoint a Guardian, presumably the Petitioner.
In most cases this process is painless. In the other cases the process can be litigious and emotionally challenging for the Petitioner, the family, and the alleged disabled person. In either case, it would be in your best interests to speak with an attorney to make sure the Guardianship process is completed effectively and accurately. In the event you oppose the Petition, it’s important to make sure your opportunity to object does not expire and your objections are appropriately identified.
The health, safety, and well-being of your friend or family member is of utmost importance. Call the attorneys at ERA Law Group, LLC today to help navigate you through this process.