Charleston Spousal Support Lawyer

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Erica Lord Law Group/

 Spousal Support Attorney in Charleston, WV

Divorce can be a very challenging legal matter that poses multiple issues to the divorcing spouses. A divorce case in Charleston, WV will typically require the spouses to address numerous issues, such as property division, child custody, and child support based on their custody order. Another financial issue that may arise in some divorce cases is spousal support, also known as alimony. While spousal support is rarely awarded in equitable distribution states like West Virginia, it is possible for a spouse to qualify to receive spousal support under certain conditions.

If you are preparing to divorce for any reason in Charleston, WV, it is natural to feel uncertain and distressed about the complex series of legal proceedings ahead of you. Many divorcing spouses are unsure how to proceed with their divorce cases and how to prepare for them effectively. Some mistakenly believe they can save money on legal fees by handling their divorces without legal counsel. In reality, reliable legal counsel from an experienced Charleston spousal support attorney is an invaluable asset if you believe alimony is likely to come into play in your divorce.

Why Do I Need a Charleston Spousal Support Lawyer?

An experienced attorney can help you through the various stages of your divorce case, including those pertaining to the financial matters between you and your spouse. If you are expecting to pay alimony, you likely want to minimize your financial obligation to your ex-spouse as much as possible. Conversely, if you expect to receive spousal support it’s natural to want to maximize the amount you receive from your ex each month. Whatever your situation entails, the team at the Erica Lord Law Group is ready to represent you in Charleston, WV.

Attorney Erica Lord has nearly 20 years of professional experience representing West Virginia clients in a wide range of cases, including family law cases involving spousal support. We believe in providing client-focused and practical legal advice. We’ll take time to get to know you and your situation to provide the most effective legal counsel we possibly can. Our goal is to help you approach your divorce case with confidence and reach an agreeable set of divorce terms that allows you to forward with your life with peace of mind.

How Can I Resolve Spousal Support in Charleston, WV?

Many couples throughout the United States are pursuing alternative dispute resolution in lieu of litigation to resolve their dissolution proceedings. Alternative dispute resolution, like collaborative divorce law and mediation, offers the chance to not only have more control over the outcome of your divorce but also to save time and money on the process. Many couples can successfully negotiate their divorce terms privately using these alternative dispute resolution methods. However, almost every divorce case in Charleston, WV will involve some amount of court proceedings.

If you intend to privately negotiate spousal support with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is still essential to have legal counsel for this process. Your attorney can help you make informed decisions, assisting you in gathering the financial records and documentation you may need to produce for these negotiations. Since West Virginia is an equitable distribution state, it may be possible to negotiate property division in such a way that there is no need for an ongoing spousal support agreement. In other cases, ongoing financial agreements are more suitable for the divorcing spouses’ needs.

If you and your spouse cannot negotiate spousal support privately or do not wish to do so, a Charleston, WV family court judge must resolve the matter in litigation. The judge overseeing your case will carefully review the financial records of you and your spouse to help the two of you reach a mutually agreeable spousal support determination. Some of the factors the judge will review to determine spousal support in Charleston, WV include:

  • The financial status of each spouse. The judge will look at separate property ownership rights and the results of the equitable distribution process to evaluate each spouse’s respective financial situation.
  • The education and job prospects of each spouse. The judge will review education, professional certifications, and the overall ability of each spouse to earn income.
  • Contributions made by each spouse during marriage. If one spouse sacrificed a career or otherwise enabled the other spouse to grow their own career, the judge will take this into consideration when determining spousal support.
  • The medical status, age, and overall health of both spouses. If one spouse is likely unable to support themselves following divorce due to medical complications or a disability, this will factor greatly into the judge’s decision.
  • Outstanding financial obligations of both spouses. If one spouse already has a child support obligation and/or other financial commitments related to prior marriages, the judge must evaluate the situation while taking these preexisting financial obligations into account.

Judges will evaluate these and other unique variables in play to reach acceptable determinations to spousal support disputes. Typically, the amount paid in spousal support hinges on the difference in income and property ownership between the spouses. The length of time the paying spouse must continue making payments usually hinges on how long the marriage lasted. If the couple was only married for a year or two, the paying spouse may only be required to pay alimony for half the length of the marriage. If they were married ten years or longer, a more extensive alimony agreement is more likely.

It’s important to note that alimony may terminate prior to the judge’s predetermined end date for the agreement. If the recipient of spousal support engages in a terminating action, such as remarrying or moving in with a new partner, the paying spouse will likely be released from their spousal support obligation. If you believe your ex has terminated their right to claim alimony, it’s a good idea to consult a Charleston spousal support attorney to determine the best way to resolve the issue.

The Erica Lord Law Group believes in comprehensive and client-focused legal counsel in every case we accept. You probably have lots of questions regarding spousal support and the other difficult legal proceedings you face in your divorce. If you are ready to discuss your situation with an experienced Charleston spousal support lawyer, contact us today and schedule a consultation with our team.

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