DC Spousal Support Lawyer

Spousal support is a court-ordered payment made from one spouse to another after their marriage ends. It is typically made by a higher earning spouse to a lower earning spouse. A DC spousal support lawyer can help you present your part of the case when entering negotiations. Speaking with a distinguished family lawyer may be beneficial to your future.

Determining Spousal Support

Spousal support in Washington, DC is often left largely up to the discretion of the judge if the parties cannot agree on a fair amount. If there is not a 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.

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 award must be just and proper under the law, which means it must be fair and equitable.

Impact of Alimony

It is very important to have a spousal support lawyer who can evaluate the circumstances of a marriage to identify which factors might make it more or less likely that spousal support will be awarded and will be found to be fair and equitable once the marriage ends. A DC spousal support lawyer with experience in this area of the law will be able to present the prior case law and make persuasive arguments to a judge if the judge is the one determining the spousal support payment.

As it is largely up to the judge, and there is no real guideline from the law, having an experienced lawyer to advocate someone’s side of the case can make the difference between obtaining a spousal support payment and being denied of spousal support payment that they sought. Unlike areas of the law such as child support, there is no formula to determine what a fair amount would be. It is an even more important case to have a lawyer to faithfully present their side of the case to the judge in a court proceeding.

Being Fair and Reasonable

The judge will make the ultimate fairness determination. However, DC spousal support lawyers can present any and all factors that they consider to be relevant considering the specific circumstances of the marriage and the end of the marriage.

If the judge is the one determining what is fair and reasonable for the spousal support, the law requires the judge consider all relevant factors. These includes:

  • 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 an Attorney

A DC spousal support lawyer is extremely important in ensuring that you present the most important and persuasive information in asking the court to rule on spousal support. Judges can take into account so many different aspects in determining what a fair spousal support payment would be. Having an experienced lawyer who can advocate for your side of the case is very important to ensure that the judge is fully informed before they make their final and legally binding decision.

Your attorney can examine all of the specific aspects of your marriage to determine if there are any factors that weigh either in favor of or against spousal support that the judge might otherwise not be aware of. They can also assist in working with your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s attorney to negotiate terms of spousal support that both sides might be able to agree upon.