Spousal Support: How Can A Lawyer Help?

Zoey Ellis
 | 
According to the CDC, there were 782,038 divorces in the United States in 2018. 

Some experts think divorce rates will rise this year and next.  Even if you an your ex are on good terms, it is often in your best interest to consult a lawyer that specializes in divorce to learn if you will have to pay or receive spousal support.

According to the Census Bureau, 243,000 people received spousal support in 2016. Navigating spousal support can often be a difficult, confusing and complex process. The person paying usually thinks they're parting with too much money. The person receiving support often thinks they're not getting enough. 

A lawyer is a third party who can help find a solution everyone is OK (or OKayish...) with. 

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support is financial support paid by one ex-spouse to the other following a divorce or legal separation. The purpose of it is to limit any unfair economic impacts faced by the spouse who is non-wage earning or lower-wage earning. 

Spousal support is also referred to as alimony. Learn more basics about Spousal Support 101: Who Pays, What and Why. 

How Can A Lawyer Help?

A Lawyer Can:

1. Provide consultation and advice.  Spousal Support may be paid in lump-Sum or via monthly payments for a temporary period or long-term period. 

2. File paperwork. Filing for spousal support often requires proof, including various documents and statements. A qualified lawyer can help you prepare essential court forms and explain the factors that a judge will consider when ruling on spousal support payments. 
 
3. Be an advocate for you. If your ex has a lawyer, you definitely want a lawyer too.  

Lawyers can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under any agreements you've already reached and ensure that future agreements protect your best interests. 
 
If you haven’t read your current agreement in a while, it is probably time to reread it and clarify your responsibilities. This agreement includes valuable information about the amount and duration of payments, as well as the circumstances of the agreement.

If your spouse has broken a prearranged agreement or refuses to pay the already negotiated amount, a lawyer can also help you take legal action.

4. Help modify your previous arrangements. Going to court to modify payment arrangements is often complex and lawyers can help. 

A lawyer can represent you if you’re trying to modify or renegotiate your previous spousal support arrangement. 

To request a change in spousal support, there often needs to be a “change in circumstances.”  A lawyer can help advise you on whether or not you have the proper justification for a modification, help prepare the proper documents and in some cases dispute the length of spousal payments or terminate the support entirely. 

As COVID-19 job losses continue, a lawyer can also read over your original agreement and determine if these current factors (such as the paying spouse losing their job or a main source of income) can warrant a reduction in spousal support.

During this pandemic, ou lawyers are still accessible and available to help. 

 

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.

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