DC Spousal Support Lawyers

We Work Tirelessly to Support DC Couples throughout Their Divorce

If you’re considering filing for divorce, you might wonder, “Is there spousal support in DC?” The short answer is yes. However, there are often nuances dictating how, when, and who receives or pays alimony.

When couples divorce in Washington DC, there’s no automatic presumption under the law that either party will walk away from the situation with an order to receive or pay for spousal support. Either spouse, however, can request to receive spousal support, which is also known as alimony.

If you and your partner have an uncontested divorce, in which the two of you work out agreements for a negotiated settlement, you may choose to include plans for the payment of spousal support. If, however, the two of you fail to reach an amicable agreement pertaining to alimony, the case will have to be determined by the court through a trial.

As your financial circumstances will be massively affected by spousal support orders, you need to be certain that the attorney you choose to work with has the insight, experience, and determination to protect your interests, no matter which side of the courtroom you are on. The award-winning DC spousal support lawyers at Petrelli Previtera, LLC are here to meet your needs as you navigate every aspect of your divorce.

How is Spousal Support Decided in DC?

In Washington DC, there is no formula that controls how the court determines an alimony award. Generally, though, the judge will consider the following factors before deciding on the type, duration, and amount of the award:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s age, physical well-being, and mental health
  • The circumstances that caused the break-up of the marriage
  • The time necessary for the recipient spouse to be self-sufficient
  • The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s financial needs and financial resources, including potential income, current income, and retirement funds.
  • The paying spouse’s ability to remain financially stable while supporting the recipient spouse

After carefully considering the above factors, the judge will award the spousal support in a way that’s reasonable and fair to both parties.

Whether you are anxious about whether you’ll receive spousal support or are worried that you might be ordered to pay alimony, you can turn to the DC spousal support lawyers at Petrelli Previtera for help.

Who Can Obtain Alimony in DC?

Unless you had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement outlining the terms of spousal support, the courts in DC will typically order one spouse to pay if he or she lacks sufficient income to meet basic needs.

Some circumstances that increase the chances of alimony being awarded include:

  • If the marriage lasted for a substantial period of time and one spouse is struggling to support themselves financially.
  • If one spouse has custody of a child with mental or physical disabilities requiring substantial care
  • If the earnings potential gap between the two spouses is considerably huge
  • If one spouse has a mental or physical disability that occurred during the marriage preventing him or her from earning enough income

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Qualify for Alimony?

When you go through a divorce, one of the first things your friends may ask you is whether or not you are getting alimony. This does not happen in every case, and some relationships may not require it. If you are going through a divorce and request alimony, the judge will review the information to determine if you qualify.

You may qualify to get alimony payments from your ex-spouse if you do not have sufficient income or property. Before being approved for payments, the judge will look at the information and the marital lifestyle. It will also depend on if the person paying can afford to support themselves after the payments. Based on the evidence, they will approve or disapprove the request.

Alimony is not something anyone can stop paying. There is a specific legal process that has to happen in order to stop making payments. If a spouse or partner refuses to pay alimony after a judge has determined a payment is needed, there could be legal consequences and you could face civil charges.

What are The Types of Alimony?

Every state will have various rules revolving around alimony. In some states, there are temporary, periodic, reimbursement, or permanent types of alimony. This may mean if you pay alimony, it only has to be once in a while. It will be dependent on the other spouse and the lifestyle you lived while married. The best way to get the best payment plan on alimony is by having an attorney represent you and share accurate information with the judge.

Temporary Alimony

This type of alimony is for the adjustment period or while the divorce is taking place. It is calculated similarly to child support. It can also happen while the divorce is going on; if that is the case, there may be a new alimony agreement after the divorce is legal and over.

Periodic Alimony

Alimony that is periodic means that it goes to a spouse for a specific period of time, and the arrangement may be modified. If a spouse gets married the alimony will terminate or if the spouse dies.

Reimbursement Alimony

This type of alimony may be the most complicated to sort out and hard to prove. This is alimony based on the time, effort, and money the spouse put into their partner’s resources.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is not often rewarded unless you and your spouse have been in a long term marriage and the other cannot support themselves at all. Age, disability, and absence from a job may qualify a person for receiving long-term alimony.

When Does Alimony Start?

If you need help before the divorce is finalized, alimony payments can start before the divorce ends. Depending on what the judge decides a spouse qualifies for will determine how long the payments continue after the divorce is legal.

How can I avoid alimony in Washington DC?

In Washington DC, the court has the discretion to award alimony to either party in a divorce. Alimony is based upon several factors, such as the length of the marriage, the income and assets of each party, the age of each party, and the ability of each party to pay or receive alimony. Talk with your lawyer about options available to you to avoid alimony. With a thorough understanding of all the factors the court considers when deciding alimony your legal team can help guide you through the process and create a strategy to avoid or limit alimony. This could include a buyout or a lump-sum payment to your spouse in exchange for waiving their right to alimony.

When Should I Get An Attorney?

If you need help collecting evidence supporting that you need alimony payments, you should talk to Petrelli Previtera. We will help ensure you get the help you need through your divorce and receive funds to live comfortably.

The firm’s DC office law office serves all eight wards in DC and surrounding counties in Maryland.

Our office is located at:
1717 K Street NW, Suite 900
Washington DC 20006
(202) 519-0366

DC Spousal Support Lawyers You Can Count On

We at Petrelli Previtera, LLC know that legal matters involving spousal support are particularly difficult. As part of the comprehensive services we provide, our legal team always fully addresses any alimony concerns and makes it a point to clarify all applicable and how they relate to your situation.

Our DC alimony lawyers boast decades of combined experience and have received recognitions that include inclusion in the Inc. 5000 list. We routinely work with teams of outside experts who assist us in gathering the evidence we need to make a compelling case for our clients. Let us put our experience, skill, and expertise to work for you.

We know there’s much at stake when your alimony case goes to court. That’s why we provide a one-on-one consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your case.  During this meeting, we bring our A-game to the fore, helping you gauge every legal option at your disposal. Whether you are seeking alimony from your spouse or think your spouse might ask for alimony in your divorce proceeding, our DC spousal support lawyers can help you navigate the process and understand the implications for your future. Contact us today and we’ll be glad to help!