Alimony & Spousal Maintenance

Lake Charles Spousal Support Attorney

Effective Family Solutions in Calcasieu Parish

No matter how amicable a divorce is, there’s no denying that both parties suffer financial blows in the process, from paying court fees to dividing property and assets. In most marriages, one party earns more than the other, which means one party will suffer more after a divorce. State courts have laws in place to help the spouses deemed more financially dependent get back on their feet after divorce. As a result, most courts order the higher-earning party to pay what’s known as spousal support to the other party. If you’d like to seek legal counsel on spousal support enforcement or need assistance filing a modification, call our alimony and spousal maintenance attorneys in Lake Charles. Sudduth & Associates, LLC have helped countless clients resolve their family matters efficiently and with little conflict.

Are you looking to enforce or modify your spousal support order? Our Lake Charles spousal support lawyer has the legal experience you need on your side. Call Sudduth & Associates, LLC today at (337) 282-9003 or contact us online to get started! 

The Advantage of a Former Prosecutor on Your Side

  • If having someone on your side that gives a 110% and delivers a quality product is important, then James Sudduth III comes with my highest personal recommendation.

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  • They truly care about the legal issues I face, and aren't just 'going through the motions.'

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  • If you're looking for an attorney to fight for you, call James.

    “Throughout the entire ordeal, James could not have been more professional, courteous and knowledgeable regarding my employment issue. He was prompt with his responses and could not have shown more compassion for the issue.”

  • His passion for helping people sets him apart from any other attorney in this area.

    “Smart, driven, direct, passionate. Amazing man, which makes him an amazing attorney. Treated me and my family as if we were a part of his. I am forever grateful for the hard work and dedication he put into my case.”

Alimony Vs. Spousal Maintenance in Louisiana

Spousal support laws in Louisiana provide financial assistance to a spouse to preserve their accustomed standard of living as it existed during the marriage. Alimony payments are determined based on the lower income spouse’s need and balanced by the other spouse’s ability to pay.

Many people are confused by the use of the terms “alimony” and “spousal maintenance,” but it’s important to know that the two are interchangeable. Both terms refer to the money the court orders one spouse to pay the other during and after a divorce proceeding. Spousal maintenance or spousal support doesn’t apply to every divorce. The court determines whether alimony is required on a case-by-case basis.

Though many individuals who have to pay spousal support see it as a punishment, it’s meant to be a remedy to support the lower-income spouse after the end of a marriage. Appropriate spousal support brings a balance between the economic statuses of both spouses and eases the transition to living as a single person. Either party may be ordered to pay spousal support and may be granted or denied based on a range of economic factors.

How Is Alimony Determined in a Divorce?

When our clients seek our family law services, their initial questions concern how much they can be expected to pay or receive in spousal support, how it is calculated, and how long it will last. Our job as family law attorneys is to help clients understand these answers from a planning perspective as well as from the court’s point of view.

Spousal support laws in Louisiana, and court decisions that interpret them, set the criteria for determining whether alimony is applicable to your case.

The following factors are considered, and the judge will weigh some factors more than others in each specific case:

  • The income and means of the parties
  • The financial obligations of the parties, including child support obligations
  • The earning capacity of the parties
  • The effect of custody of children upon a party’s earning capacity
  • The time necessary for the claimant to acquire appropriate education, training, or employment
  • The health and age of the parties
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The tax consequences to either or both parties
  • The existence, effect, and duration of any act of domestic abuse committed by the other spouse upon the claimant, regardless of whether the other spouse was prosecuted for the act of domestic violence

Can Alimony Payments Be Changed?

Spousal support in Louisiana can be modified, as life is unpredictable and individuals may lose their jobs or come into a considerable amount of money.

If you are paying or receiving spousal support per a Louisiana judgment and you have experienced a significant change in your circumstances, you can ask the court for a review and modification of the order. There are several changes in circumstances that a court may consider.

First, an economic change may result in a need to modify your spousal support payments. Our attorneys can examine your situation and provide guidance about whether you qualify for a modification, and what you can expect the modified payments to be according to Louisiana spousal support guidelines.

Most divorce cases are resolved without trial, which means the parties eventually agree on an amount and term for spousal support. Spousal support payments by agreement may also by modifiable depending on the situation and language in your judgment.

If your spousal support is modifiable and you wish to change the payments, you must be able to prove there has been a material change in circumstances since the issuance of the judgment ordering support. Monthly spousal support payments can be increased or decreased accordingly.

Spousal support payments may also be stopped by:

  • Remarriage of the recipient
  • Death of either party
  • A judicial determination that the receiving party has cohabitated with another person of either sex in the manner of married persons

Contact Sudduth & Associates, LLC today to meet with our spousal support attorney! 

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