At the end of the divorce process when we are approaching a resolution, we expect to derive a sense of security and closure from it. There are times, however, when things take an unexpected turn for the better or worse and your needs change and you need to adjust to the circumstances. The law gives some leeway for you to pursue what is fair and appropriate on divorce issues like spousal support or alimony. There is an opportunity upon fulfillment of strict requirements and demonstration of proof that may affect a change in alimony from a fixed and limited period of time to one that is indefinite or without a specific end date. The best thing you can do to benefit your case is to consult an experienced Maryland family law attorney to guide you as you steer towards your goal of seeking modification or changes in your alimony.
We have a case in which the wife’s request for a change in alimony was granted through a fair modification process. The court granted a couple’s divorce in July 2013. The judge also awarded the wife to receive alimony of $850 every month for a limited time only. One year before the alimony was about to end, the wife went back to court to request for an increase in the amount and extension of the monetary support. The wife claimed that during most of the past months, her life took a turn for the worse and her circumstances changed. The trial judge granted her an indefinite alimony; however, an increase in the amount of the monetary support was not granted.
The husband lost his appeal, even claiming that his ex wife’s situation or circumstances did not in fact change for the worse. Please take note that in Maryland, a qualifying change in circumstances will be taken into consideration before anyone is granted an increase in alimony. There are ways to demonstrate that a person has in fact underwent a change in circumstances to allow for modification in alimony, which will be approved by Maryland law, if found satisfactory. A “harsh and inequitable” outcome would result, if alimony is not increased – this is one way to demonstrate a need for modification in spousal support.
The law in Maryland provides a variety of ways for a spouse to demonstrate “harsh and equitable” outcome. You could show that any expectation by you regarding your future capacity to earn and generate income from prospects failed to materialize at the time of your divorce. In this case, Mia worked as a media relations consultant. She expected to resume employment as such after divorce to support herself with an annual income of $45,000-$65,000. During that time, she was expecting her employment prospects to materialize, they did not. She earned a lot less than her expected income and was not even entitled to health insurance coverage. She testified that her husband, Rio, earned $9,500 monthly, while she made $2,300 per month. If her alimony is allowed to end, a “harsh and equitable” outcome would result as purported or described by the law – this argument allowed the modification of Mia’s spousal support.
The magistrate had sufficient evidence demonstrating a change in circumstances, the appeals court concluded. There was no cause in Mia’s unfounded optimism that she would earn a certain amount of money and resume her career that kept her from being awarded a modification. Mia did her best to resume her career, but her prospects to earn from her employment were not sufficient to provide a stable income. The change in circumstances gave the law cause to award Mia modification or indefinite alimony.
There are specific requirements you must satisfy before the court to justify a claim of increase or modification in alimony. Our Chevy Chase family law attorneys are here to help you understand the alimony process and take the necessary steps in the event that a change in support is needed. Feel free to call (301) 889-8085 or schedule a consultation online.