Washington DC Spousal Support Lawyer

Spousal support is a court-ordered payment made from one spouse to another after they separate or after their marriage ends. It is typically made by a higher-earning spouse to a lesser earning spouse. A Washington DC spousal support lawyer could advise you in negotiations about what, if any, alimony you should pay or receive. Speaking with a distinguished family lawyer may be beneficial to your future.

Determining Spousal Support

Spousal support in Washington, DC is awarded at the judge’s discretion after considering certain factors or if the parties cannot agree on a fair amount. If there is no valid marital agreement in place or the spouses have not been able to negotiate what spousal support will be paid after the end of the marriage, the judge will make the decision for them. In DC, spousal support or alimony is rarely awarded or, if it is awarded, it is only temporary.

The financially dependent spouse may seek support during the divorce proceedings, but if the issue of spousal support is not raised during those proceedings, it cannot be raised at a later date. Any spousal support must be fair and equitable, according to DC law.

Impact of Alimony

It is very important to have a spousal support lawyer who can evaluate the circumstances of the end of the marriage to identify which factors may make it more or less likely that alimony will be awarded. A DC spousal support lawyer could advise a spouse about what the court may find to be a fair and equitable amount once the marriage ends. An attorney with experience in this area of law will be able to make persuasive arguments to a judge.

As an award of alimony is largely up to the judge, having an experienced lawyer as an advocate can make the difference between being ordered to pay or being awarded spousal as well as what the amount would be. Unlike other areas of family law such as child support, there is no formula to determine a fair amount. It is therefore even more important to have a lawyer make the best arguments on your behalf.

Being Fair and Reasonable

The judge will make the ultimate fairness determination. However, DC spousal support lawyers can argue which factors would be most relevant and persuasive when considering the specific facts of the marriage and the circumstances surrounding the end thereof.

The judge determines what is a fair, equitable, or reasonable amount of spousal support according to the following factors. The relevant factors include:

  • Ability of the spouse who is seeking the support payment to be self-supporting
  • Marital standard of living or the standard of living that both spouses became accustomed to during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age and physical and mental condition
  • Ability of the paying spouse to meet the financial needs of both spouses
  • Time necessary for the spouse who is seeking payment to acquire education or a suitable employment
  • Circumstances that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage
  • Financial resources

Role of a Washington DC Spousal Support Attorney

A Washington DC spousal support lawyer is extremely important in ensuring that you present the most important and persuasive information in asking the court to rule alimony. Judges can take into account many different factors in determining what a fair spousal support payment would be or if any amount of alimony would be fair. Having a dedicated lawyer who can advocate for you will help ensure that the judge is fully informed before they make their final and legally binding decision.

Your attorney can examine all of the specific facts of your marriage to determine if there are any factors that weigh either in favor of or against spousal support and which the judge may consider especially important. A lawyer from our firm can also assist you in working with your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s attorney to negotiate terms of spousal support or alimony to which both sides may be able to agree.