Alimony & Spousal Support
An individual seeking financial support from their spouse during and/or after a divorce will need to consult with a family lawyer about their options. The law requires that the petitioning spouse be substantially dependent on the other spouse. A divorce lawyer can help evaluate the circumstance to determine whether alimony is viable. There are several factors that go into figuring maintenance. Therefore, it is sensible to talk to an attorney.
Alimony & Spousal Support Lawyer Charleston WV
When a couple decides that a divorce is the best option for them, there are a lot of things that they need to consider. They will have to think about the division of assets, custody arrangements if they have children, as well as alimony. As with all aspects of a divorce, the issue of alimony can be a contentious one since it is understandable if one partner is unwilling to support the other when they are no longer in a relationship. Some couples will be able to find an amicable solution while others will fight tooth and claw, but no matter the level of animosity between the two, it is better if they come to an agreement together otherwise the courts will make a decision that neither party will be satisfied with.
If a divorcing couple wants help with the process of allocating alimony payments, then they will need an alimony lawyer to help them. An alimony lawyer can help the parties come to a solution before it is necessary for the courts to intervene. Scott E. Elswick has been helping divorcing couples in Charleston, WV with their alimony issues for over two decades now. So he knows how to keep the process civil, fair, and efficient and he will use all of his acquired knowledge and experience to help any couples who are going through a divorce and need to sort out their alimony problems before they can move on with their lives.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony is essentially an allowance paid by one former spouse to another after a divorce. The reason for alimony is to make sure that the spouse who earns a lower wage, or no wage at all, is not impacted financially by the divorce. Since some people give up their careers when they get married, they may not be able to immediately start earning money once they are divorced. A regular alimony payment to them is meant to redress the financial imbalance within the former couple.
How Alimony Is Decided
There are many different factors that go into the decision of how much alimony a former spouse is allowed to receive, as well as for how long. That decision is made by the courts using a variety of different criteria. In West Virginia a couple has to prove that they are living apart from each other before one of them can start receiving spousal support; couples that are still living together are not eligible for alimony payments even if they are going through the divorce process. Some of the factors that the courts in West Virginia will take into account when deciding on the type, amount, and duration of alimony payments include the following:
- The length of the marriage
- The present income and earnings of each spouse
- The income-earning abilities of each spouse, which is based on their level of education, training, work experience, time away from the job market, and more
- The age of each spouse
- The mental, physical, and emotional condition of each spouse
- The marital standard of living
- The education costs for minor children
- The costs associated with obtaining the education and training necessary for the dependent spouse to become financially independent
There are other factors that go into the decision about alimony payments, however the law also allows for judges to take into consideration each spouse’s fault in the dissolution of the marriage. Even though judges have discretion in deciding spousal support, the divorcing couple can negotiate with each other and present a signed settlement agreement to the court if they want to retain control over the final decision.
Types Of Spousal Support In Charleston, WV
In West Virginia spousal support is divided into the following four categories:
Rehabilitative Support – This is the most common kind of spousal support in West Virginia and it is about supporting a spouse for a limited period of time until they are able to secure gainful employment.
Temporary Support – This is only awarded while the divorce is pending. Also called spousal support pendente lite, its purpose is to allow the dependent spouse to adjust to living on a single income. Once the divorce is finalized, temporary support ends.
Permanent Support – This is awarded when one of the spouses is unable to work due to circumstances beyond their control, such as a disability.
Spousal Support in Gross – This is one lump sum paid all at once, or in installments, to the dependent spouse.
Contact Scott E. Elswick If You Need Help With Spousal Support
Alimony can be a controversial issue between divorcing spouses, which is why a family lawyer can help to ease tensions and facilitate the process. Normally, alimony is left to the courts to decide, but if you want to negotiate the terms for yourself in order to come up with your own settlement agreement, then Scott E. Elswick can help you.
He has overseen many divorce cases in his two decades of practice, so he can use his knowledge to help to find a settlement agreement that is fair to both parties. So contact the Law Office of Scott E. Elswick if you are going through a divorce; he can help you sort things out so that you can both move forward.
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