Spousal support is one of the most complicated and uncertain areas of family law, and there is no specific formula that the judges must employ to determine and award spousal support. That is why it is extremely important that anyone seeking spousal support or defending against spousal support have experienced and highly competent counsel with them. Anyone who attempts to go into court without an experienced alimony attorney may not receive any spousal support or, on the other hand, be required to pay a large amount of spousal support if the case was not advocated properly. Learn about the role of a Maryland spousal support lawyer and how an attorney could help.
Ensuring Fairness In Payments When Determining Spousal Support Payments
An attorney cannot ensure anything, but what an attorney can do is make sure that the process is fair, make sure that a claimant’s interests are being protected. They can make sure that the appropriate law is being explained to the judge, and that the appropriate factors that pertain to alimony and spousal support will be taken into evidence. The attorney also can make sure that the evidence that a person wants to use is admissible in court and that it will be taken into consideration by the judge.
Ultimately, it is up to a family-law judge or a magistrate to determine the amount and duration of spousal support, and that is based on a person’s ability to pay, on the needs of the person requesting spousal support, and many other factors as pointed out in case law.
Mediation Between Disputing Marital Parties
An attorney representing a party, a client, in a spousal-support or any family-law case, cannot serve as a mediator in that same case because it is ethically prohibited. However, an attorney can serve as a mediator for other parties if in fact that attorney is trained as a mediator, or two parties want to use that attorney as a mediator. Attorneys for parties often do act as mediators, not in an official capacity, but in the sense of that they assist the claimant to come to a favorable resolution outside of court.
The parties may be required to attend mediation in most cases, and the attorneys may be allowed to be present with their clients to facilitate mediation. If a person is not represented by an attorney in a spousal-support case, it is most likely not going to settle, so it is much more advantageous for people to hire attorneys because they are more likely to settle the cases. Often, even before the trial takes place, the judge may want to speak to the attorneys in chambers to try to act as a facilitator to settle a case.
Alternatives To Spousal Support Payments
If a person is recently divorced and alimony was not awarded in the case, that person can never come back to court and request alimony again, because more than likely, alimony was waived or no alimony was awarded. Therefore, there will not be any spousal support in that case. The only thing available to a person who is already divorced would be child support, for a child-support modification, if children are involved in the case.
Why Is It Best to Avoid Communication With An Ex-Spouse?
If a person is a previous spouse, meaning the parties are already divorced, alimony was either awarded or not awarded, so now they are in a situation in which somebody may be modifying alimony. They cannot seek alimony for the first time if they are already divorced, but they can try to modify an alimony agreement, or if a person is still married and as part of their divorce they are seeking alimony. They should avoid telling them that they have just spent a lot of money frivolously. That is regardless of whether the ex-spouse, or the current spouse is talking to the other spouse. There will be something called discovery, in which both parties will be required to exchange financial documents and written responses. Whatever the person is doing with their money, their bank accounts, their credit cards, and their income, will be discovered between the parties.
Schedule a Consultation with a Spousal Support Attorney
Divorce and determining spousal support can be a complicated matter. It may be wise to retain the assistance of an experienced attorney to handle the legal elements of your case. There are many roles of a Maryland spousal support lawyer which includes helping you reach a fair settlement with your ex-spouse. Call today to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options.