Navigating through a divorce can be challenging, especially when it comes to the financial intricacies such as alimony. In Maryland, this process can become even more complicated when your spouse’s income fluctuates dramatically from year to year. This article provides insights on how to handle such a situation and what you can expect when pursuing an alimony award.
Understanding Alimony in Maryland
Before delving into the specifics, it’s important to understand the concept of alimony. In Maryland, alimony is a payment that one spouse makes to the other during or after a divorce to provide financial support. There are three types of alimony: pendente lite (temporary alimony while the divorce is pending), rehabilitative (for a fixed period to allow the recipient to become self-supporting), and indefinite (long-term or permanent alimony in cases where the recipient cannot reasonably be expected to make substantial progress toward becoming self-supporting).
Determining Alimony With Fluctuating Income
When determining an alimony award, Maryland courts consider numerous factors such as each spouse’s ability to be self-supporting, the time necessary for the recipient spouse to gain sufficient education or training to find suitable employment, the standard of living during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, and the financial needs and resources of each spouse.
When a spouse’s income fluctuates significantly, it poses a unique challenge. The court must find a balance that acknowledges the varying income while ensuring the other spouse receives fair support.
In such a situation, the court will generally assess the income-earning pattern over several years rather than basing the decision on a single year’s income. A consistent pattern of fluctuation could influence the amount and type of alimony awarded.
Strategies for Pursuing Alimony with Fluctuating Income
If you’re pursuing an alimony award in Maryland, and your spouse has a fluctuating income, consider the following strategies:
Hire an Expert Witness: A financial expert or forensic accountant can review your spouse’s financial history, identify trends, and provide an estimate of their earning capacity. They can also unearth hidden assets or income streams your spouse may be attempting to conceal.
Document Everything: Maintain detailed records of your spouse’s income, including bonuses, commissions, dividends, etc. Keep copies of tax returns, bank statements, and any other relevant financial documents.
Seek Legal Counsel: A lawyer experienced in Maryland family law can guide you through the process, ensuring you present the strongest possible case for a fair alimony award.
Consider Income Averaging: In cases of fluctuating income, the court may consider income averaging over several years to arrive at a fair monthly alimony payment.
Negotiate a Settlement: If possible, you might want to negotiate a settlement with your spouse. You could agree to a lower regular alimony payment with an additional percentage of any excess earnings each year.
Pursuing an alimony award in Maryland when your spouse’s income fluctuates significantly year-to-year can indeed be complex. Navigating through such an intricate process necessitates expert legal and financial advice to ensure you receive an equitable alimony award, reflective of your spouse’s earning potential and your financial necessities. Keep in mind, each situation bears its unique characteristics, and hence the strategies noted above should be customized to align with your specific circumstances.
In situations like these, reaching out to experienced legal practitioners is paramount. We, at the Law Offices of McKenzie & Tehrani, are at your service. With over 18 years of experience, we have a proven track record of assisting clients effectively navigate through alimony disputes. Our team is skilled at understanding the complexities of income fluctuations and how they impact alimony settlements. We’ll leverage our expertise to seek the most favorable outcome in your case. Don’t navigate this challenging process alone – contact us today, and let our experience work for you.
Navegar por un divorcio puede ser desafiante, especialmente cuando se trata de aspectos financieros como la pensión alimenticia. En Maryland, este proceso puede volverse aún más complicado cuando los ingresos de su cónyuge fluctúan drásticamente de un año a otro. Este artículo brinda información sobre cómo manejar esta situación y qué esperar al buscar una pensión alimenticia.