Alimony Lawyer in Washington, D.C. Provides Strong Representation
Firm assists paying and recipient clients in spousal support matters
Some spouses who depend financially on their husband or wife may be very worried about how they’ll make ends meet following a divorce. At Law Offices of Jesse A. Gadson, PLLC in Washington, D.C., I provide effective counsel to individuals who are seeking alimony as well as higher-earning spouses who are being asked to send spousal support. No matter your situation, my firm delivers effective advocacy during negotiations, mediation and litigation relating to alimony determinations.
Types of alimony you can receive
There are three basic types of alimony payments:
- Temporary — Sometimes referred to as “pendente lite alimony,” payments can be ordered on a temporary basis while the divorce proceeding is pending.
- Rehabilitative — For the most part, when spousal support is awarded, it is meant to last only long enough for the recipient to gain the skills and experience needed to support themselves.
- Permanent — In certain instances, a disability, child care responsibility or long absence from work might make it impossible for a spouse to earn a suitable income. These circumstances could justify a permanent or indefinite alimony order that is scheduled to stay in force until the recipient remarries or either party dies.
Couples can negotiate alimony terms or rely on the spousal support provisions within a prenuptial agreement, if they have one. However, if the alimony decision is put in the judge’s hands, they will look at several different factors, such as:
- The parties’ age and health
- The recipient party’s education and ability to become self-supporting
- The paying party’s ability to provide spousal support
- Duration of the marriage
Drawing on decades of family law experience, I make sure that divorcing clients have a clear understanding regarding alimony law and help them pursue a decision that treats both sides fairly.
How can you prevent an alimony award?
There is no guarantee that alimony will be awarded in a specific divorce. In previous generations, many couples relied on one breadwinner so the stay-at-home spouse didn’t have the capacity to maintain their standard of living without some assistance after a divorce. Now, there are many dual-income families, and even in situations where a wife or husband remains home to take care of the children, they might be able to resume their previous career fairly easily. If you’ve been asked to provide alimony and do not believe it is warranted, my firm can assess the circumstances and advocate for a proper result.
Potential penalties for failing to pay required spousal support
Failure to make alimony payments could result in a contempt of court proceeding. The judge could mandate the withholding of a delinquent ex-spouse’s wages in order to ensure that the recipient receives their spousal support. Other penalties, including fines and the awarding of fees, might also be imposed. Sometimes, parties will take steps to avoid potential problems by withholding wages from the outset or by having the entire alimony amount paid in one lump sum.
Duration of alimony awards and modifications when circumstances change
When rehabilitative alimony is granted, a specific end date is established for the payments. This isn’t the case for permanent or indefinite spousal support. However, when a material change in circumstances occurs, any alimony order can be modified. This can change if the recipient remarries or some other material change occurs, such as a significant shift in either ex-spouse’s financial situation. Regardless of the reason, the party seeking modification must obtain an order from the court before the adjustment is put into place.
Contact a skillful Washington, D.C. lawyer for assistance with an alimony issue
The Law Offices of Jesse A. Gadson, PLLC provides knowledgeable counsel on alimony and other divorce-related concerns to clients in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. For a consultation, please call 202-972-1343 or contact me online.