Maryland Divorce Alimony Montgomery County Indefinite Award

by admin on July 5, 2010

THOMAS BOEMIO v. CYNTHIA BOEMIO

No. 57, September Term, 2009

COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND

The husband, Boemio sought further review.

Issues:

Whether there was an error in consulting non-legislative guidelines as an aid when determining the amount?
Whether there was an error in awarding indefinite alimony award?

Whether there was an error in consulting non-legislative guidelines as an aid when determining the amount and duration of an alimony award?

The court held that “we hold that the consultation of guidelines promulgated by a reliable and neutral source that do not conflict with or undermine any of the considerations expressed in the statute is permissible.  We believe that the AAML recommendations are the product of a careful study by a professional organization of knowledgeable practitioners, which are reasonable in approach, and do not supplant FL Section 11-106 or frustrate its goals.  We consider these, and other legitimate and neutral guidelines, helpful to judges making alimony awards in Maryland.  Therefore, we conclude that the court did not err in consulting those guidelines after conducting its statutory analysis.  Rather, the court made an effort to be fair and equitable, as well as being mindful of the benefits of consistency in alimony awards for family law practitioners, litigants, and judges.  We wish to be clear, however, that our decision in this case does not mandate the use of any guidelines by circuit courts in performing their Section 11-106 analyses.”

Whether there was an error in awarding indefinite alimony award?

The court held that “to award indefinite alimony in a twenty-year marriage is not at all unusual.  There has long been a pattern in Maryland divorce cases reflecting the implied statutory directive that a long marriage is more likely to result in indefinite alimony.  Indeed, it is fair to say that length of the marriage is a key factor, outweighing several of the others listed in FL Section 11-106(b), in determining what is unconscionably disparate. Thus, the trial court’s use of the twenty-year benchmark from the AAML guidelines for its award of indefinite alimony is not at all inconsistent with Maryland law.”

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group.  They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions.  The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.


About the Author:
The SRIS Law Group has offices in Montgomery County & Baltimore, Maryland.  The SRIS Law Group Maryland divorce lawyers assist clients with divorce, child custody & other family law issues in Maryland.
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