Spousal Support Lawyer for Women

Experienced Family Law Attorneys Advocating for Fair Spousal Support for Women

Many women stay in unhappy marriages because they are concerned about how they will financially support themselves upon divorce. Alimony payments can help women establish a life for themselves so they can move forward with their lives with confidence.

Your former spouse will not always be required to pay alimony or spousal support. You will need to present specific evidence which establishes why it is necessary and how long you need it for.

When you secure representation from WSM, our divorce lawyers for women attorneys will listen and provide the knowledge and support you need during the divorce process. Our law firm exclusively represents women and is driven by empowering women with knowledge of their rights and confidence in their future.

It is common for women to sacrifice job opportunities to care for a home and children, and this should be an important consideration when determining whether you are owed spousal support. With our help, you can gain the tools and financial security you need to move forward to a brighter future.

Arrange a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys today at 380-212-3731.

Alimony VS. Spousal Maintenance

A woman sitting at table doing finances.

The terms alimony and spousal support are often used interchangeably, but they are slightly different.

Alimony usually refers to financial support that aims to make both parties’ financial situations more equitable after divorce. One spouse may request alimony if their former spouse earns significantly more than them. Alimony is available in states such as Florida and Oregon.

However, many other states have replaced alimony with spousal support or spousal maintenance, including Texas, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Spousal support or spousal maintenance may also be awarded when there is a wage disparity. However, the aim of spousal support is usually to give the other spouse an opportunity to become financially independent.

Spousal support is often awarded to give one spouse a limited amount of financial support to allow them to undergo training or education and time-appropriate employment. However, spousal support may also be awarded indefinitely if the receiving spouse is mentally or physically incapacitated or if they care for a dependent who is physically or mentally incapacitated.

The Gender Wealth Gap

The gender wealth gap is the fact that women, on average, have less money than men. In part, this is due to the gender pay gap, which is the fact that women, on average, earn less than men. However, the disparity is too large for this to be the sole reason.

Perhaps a more significant factor is that women are more likely to take significant time away from work after childbirth to care for their babies. Even when they do return to work, they are more likely to sacrifice career growth and work fewer hours in order to continue to care for their children.

As a result, when women are faced with divorce; it is common for them to feel insecure about their financial stability. A spousal support order can help empower women to establish their own financial independence.

At Woodford Sathaapan McGee, we are advocates for women’s rights. We understand the importance of spousal support payments for some women and will fight for an outcome that supports your future.

When is Spousal Support Awarded?

Spousal support can be awarded in a divorce as part of your divorce decree and should be paid once it has been finalized. However, it is common for women fighting for spousal support to require support while the divorce is ongoing, especially if your divorce is complex and is taking many months to finalize.

Your attorney can help you fight for a temporary order for spousal support, which will ensure that you have financial security while the divorce is ongoing.

How Long do Temporary Spousal Support Payments Last?

a man and woman with folded hands sitting at a table with keys and paperwork.

Spousal support payments are often temporary orders designed to allow you enough time to undergo training or education so that you can find employment that will give you financial independence. Your family law lawyer can help you establish how long you need spousal maintenance and will help you fight for an order that meets your needs.

Temporary alimony or spousal maintenance is particularly beneficial for mothers who have sacrificed their careers to care for their children. It can help give you the time and space you need to find meaningful work and independence.

To determine whether you are owed temporary spousal support, the court may consider factors such as:

  • The earning capacity and education level of both spouses.
  • The time and expenses required for you to find suitable employment.
  • Whether you sacrificed opportunities to care for a child or a home.

Temporary spousal support could also be awarded if you have a temporary mental or physical condition that limits your ability to support yourself. Or if you have a dependent with a temporary condition that requires you to care for them. In these circumstances, spousal support may be ordered based on the period of incapacity.

When deciding whether to award spousal support based on incapacity, the court will consider the financial circumstances of each spouse, the nature and duration of the condition, and the level of care required.

When is Spousal Support Ordered Indefinitely?

The laws surrounding spousal support vary between states. However, some circumstances where spousal support may be ordered indefinitely include:

  • One spouse has a life-long mental or physical incapacity that prevents them from being self-sufficient.
  • The couple has a dependent who has a physical or mental incapacity that requires one spouse to be at home to care for them.

The court may also consider the assets of each spouse, the duration of the marriage, the standard of living in the marriage, the tax consequences of support payments, and more.

If there are justifications for an ongoing spousal support order, then our attorneys will help you fight for a fair outcome.

Other Family Law Matters That Impact Financial Stability After Divorce

As a woman, you are protected by certain rights that should protect you in divorce. Our experienced family law attorneys can help fight to ensure that you can move forward with financial security.

It is important to remember that the outcome of your divorce decree is legally binding, so it is essential that every decision is made with your interests considered. In addition to a spousal support award, other factors that could impact your financial stability after divorce include:

Child Support

When a couple decides to separate or divorce, and there are children involved, one parent usually takes primary custody of the child or children. The parent who does not have primary child custody is known as the non-custodial parent. This parent is required to pay monthly child support to help pay for the children’s needs, including housing, food, school, clothes, and extra-curricular activities.

Child support is a lifeline for many mothers and ensures that the cost of raising a child is fair and meets your child’s needs.

Property Division

In equitable distribution states, the property is first divided into separate and marital. Separate property is the property you owned before you were married and continues to belong to you after divorce. Separate property can also include inheritance and gifts, and payments of compensation.

Marital property is anything you or your spouse acquired while you were married to each other. Marital property must be divided in a just and fair way. This does not always mean a 50/50 split. Instead, many factors are considered, such as:

  • Duration of the marriage.
  • Contributions made by each spouse.
  • Earning capacity of each spouse.
  • The child custody arrangement.

Your family law attorney will help you achieve a just outcome that is supportive of your life after your divorce.

Who Pays Divorce Attorney Fees?

If you are in a position where you require spousal support payments, then you are likely also concerned about how you will manage your divorce attorney fees. In most cases, each spouse is responsible for paying their own attorney fees. However, in some cases, the court may order one spouse to pay some or all of the other spouse’s attorney fees.

If there is a significant wage disparity and you are not in a position to earn more, then this could justify an order for your former spouse to cover some or all of your legal fees. The court may also issue such as order if it is shown that your ex-spouse has acted in bad faith. Bad faith means that they have been shown to have lied to the court, hidden assets, or failed to provide the documents requested of them.

Your divorce attorney can assist you in assessing the possibility of receiving an attorney fee award and will provide assistance in presenting evidence to the Judge.

Spousal Support For Women FAQ

The best way to seek spousal support is to speak to an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you. They will help you determine whether you are owed support payments and will fight for an outcome that secures your future.

A divorce can take anywhere from a few months to two years to be finalized, depending on its complexity. An experienced divorce lawyer can help to ensure your rights are protected and keep the process moving forward.

It is possible for either spouse to apply for a modification of a spousal support order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. The Judge has the final say over what qualifies. However, an example could be if the spouse paying spousal support loses their job and can no longer afford payments.

It is advisable to contact a divorce lawyer as soon as possible, even before filing a divorce petition. This will give you and your attorney enough time to develop a strategy and implement it from the beginning.

Yes. In fact there has been an increase in recent years of women paying alimony, which could be a sign of a narrowing of the gender wealth gap. If your ex-husband is asking you for spousal support payments, then we can help to support you and will ensure that a fair decision is reached.

WSM- Providing Dedicated Representation to Women 

Spousal support is only awarded in limited circumstances and often for a limited time. At WSM, we can help ensure that a fair decision is made, which gives you what you need to gain financial independence.

We will strive to protect and promote your autonomy, drawing on our extensive knowledge of family law, a range of resources and experiences, and a sympathetic attitude, as well as a commitment to your case.

Contact us today at 380-212-3731 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced family law lawyer. We represent women across Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas.