What is the Role of a Spousal Support Lawyer?


When marriages go wrong it is not just a case of each to their own and each going their own way. The relationship creates dependencies, which delivers rewards, debts, and missed opportunities for both parties over the lifespan of the marriage. Should children enter the equation then the years of sacrifice raising them through to adulthood means that these dependencies can become hopelessly intertwined and extremely complex. But when a marriage collapses it becomes extremely challenging as someone has to unpick this Gordian knot so as to protect the financial rights of each party.

 Allocating an amount for child support per child can be calculated relatively easily but when it comes to spousal support this can be extremely difficult to quantify. This is why spouses need to engage a spousal support lawyer who can negotiate a fair financial settlement. Most countries will have formulated guidelines but often they do not have the force of law behind them. What tends to happen is that they are simply ballpark suggestions as the complex interrelations and dependencies between the parties during a marriage cannot be reduced to a simple equation.

It is therefore one of the tasks of the spousal support lawyer to try to find a fair and equitable level of financial support. In doing so the lawyer will need to take into account many factors, such as, if children were raised which party gave up their career to do this. If one of the party’s career has flourished during the years of marriage to what extent was that due to the support and sacrifice of the other party. This is the type of conundrum that a spousal support lawyer has to try and solve as amenably as possible.

However the complications for the spousal lawyer and why every divorcee needs one is that spousal support cannot just be open ended – as both parties are entitled to a life after marriage. For this reason it is crucial that divorcees engage a lawyer because any informal and non-binding spousal support agreement will eventually become toxic to one or both parties.

Therefore the job of the spousal support lawyer is to try and address such issues like: the duration of support payments and whether payments are index-linked, the conditions that are triggered by re-marriage and/or employment. These are just some simple reasons as to why you will need to receive legal advice about spousal support. Indeed it is best to engage the services of a lawyer experienced in spousal support early in the separation process to ensure that you understand and protect your rights.

A good spousal support lawyer will review your spousal support entitlements to ensure the best potential spousal support arrangements for you, their client, and will negotiate hard to get you the best settlement that they can.

Of course spousal support lawyers work to negotiate a settlement entitlement for you but they are constrained by the shadow of the courts for should the negotiations fail then the courts will ultimately decide if an individual is entitled to spousal support.