Washington DC Alimony Lawyer – Paying Spousal Support
If you are familiar with divorce cases in Washington, DC then you’ve probably heard the term “alimony” several times. Or, you could be facing this divorce reality now, but unfortunately, you don’t know where to begin. If so, you’ve just landed in the right place.
Often times in a marriage there is a partner who earns more provides more monetary support to the family then the other. When such a couple divorces, it’s often difficult for the lesser-earning partner to sustain regular expenses. This is where alimony comes in.
For beginners, it’s hard to define alimony, let alone know what it entails. So, before we delve into the core matters of this subject, let’s first answer the following fundamental question.
What is Alimony?
Also known as spousal support, alimony is the legal obligation to pay for the support and maintenance of a dependent spouse, either temporarily or permanently. The goal is to limit an unfair economic position for the dependent partner following a divorce.
A common justification for alimony is that the recipient forewent their career to support the family, and will, therefore, require substantial time to gain job skills to sustain themselves. The payment also serves to maintain the living standards the zero-wage or lower-wage-earner enjoyed during the marriage. This is where a Washington DC alimony lawyer comes in handy.
Alimony can be temporary or permanent. Temporary alimony caters to the immediate needs of the dependent spouse before the finalization of the divorce case, and/or temporary alimony can provide a bridge for the dependent spouse to get back on their feet after a divorce. On the other hand, permanent alimony is in place until the death of either party or remarriage of the dependent spouse.
The Determination of Alimony
If you are going through a divorce, you and your partner can work out alimony yourselves, including the recipient and the amount to be paid. A marital agreement drafted and signed before or during the marriage can also come in handy here.
If you are unable to decide on spousal support, involving the court will become necessary.
Unlike child support, which is mandated with particular monetary guidelines, the determination of whether to or not pay alimony factors in several considerations in Washington DC’s alimony cases.
The following are some of the fundamental factors a judge will look into when determining whether to grant or deny spousal support, as well as the appropriate amount.
- Length of marriage: A judge is more likely to award alimony if the marriage lasted longer. This is especially true if the dependent partner lacks job skills.
- Age of partners: An older partner who has not worked in their marriage life will most likely need spousal support following a divorce. Nonetheless, the judge will also consider whether the wage-earning partner is retired and relying on a fixed income, particularly if the dependent spouse has not reached the retirement age.
- The working potential of partners: A partner who can’t work or is unlikely to find work will most likely earn more favor in a spouse maintenance case. Bear in mind that alimony can be short term to allow for course completion or skills acquisition.
- Type, amount, and liquidity of the property received by each partner: The judges consider the type and amount of property each party gets when deciding whether one of the partners needs spousal support.
- The physical condition of the parties: The health status of the ex-spouses can become a critical factor if it impacts their capacity to work and fulfill personal needs.
- Prior standards of living: Judges may use alimony to even things out if divorce means that one spouse will lead a low-quality life compared to the living standards they enjoyed in marriage.
The above are just a few of the several considerations for spousal support. An experienced divorce attorney in Washington DC can help you understand all factors and their unique influence in your case.
How Long Should a Supporting Partner Pay Alimony?
A judge may order you to pay all spousal support at once (lump sum alimony) or periodically (typically monthly or yearly).
Periodic spousal support can be temporary or permanent, depending on the factors outlined earlier, among others. It can last for years or months, or until a particular occurrence.
Some of the situations that call for the end of alimony payment include;
- When the supported ex-spouse remarries
- When either partner dies
- When the supporting partner completes payment for the stipulated amount
- When the judge determines the recipient can support themselves
Spousal Support and Taxes
Before 2019, alimony constituted taxable income for the support recipient and tax-deductible for the paying partner.
Nonetheless, beginning 1st January 2019, under the 2017 Republican Tax Bill, people paying spousal support cannot deduct the payments for tax purposes.
Can a Washington DC Alimony Lawyer Help in Your Case?
Solving alimony is usually not the easiest of things for divorcing couples, whether it’s through divorce trial or outside-the-court settlement. Each partner is keen on ensuring that the divorce settlement will not put their financial security in jeopardy, sometimes leading to fierce disputes.
Undoubtedly, having an experienced attorney go through your case and divulge the facts revolving it can help ease the tense moments and allow for seamless divorce completion.
Need Assistance with Spousal Support in Washington DC?
Are you struggling with deciding who owes or deserves alimony, and how much? Are you afraid that your rights could be violated in an alimony settlement? It’s crucial that you seek the services of an experienced divorce lawyer in Washington DC.
Reach out to us for professional help grounded on experience, wisdom, and knowledge in divorce law. Trust in our expertise to get informed about DC divorce laws, spousal support, and/or modify an existing alimony order. Call us today and get in touch with a Washington DC Alimony Lawyer.