A person who is going through a separation or divorce has a number of options available if he or she wants to find the right spousal support lawyer, also known as an alimony lawyer. Finding someone qualified to practice family law is only the first step in the process. Another important part of the equation when looking for a lawyer is to connect with a person who has successfully obtained support payments for previous clients. Since the lawyer will be privy to some very personal financial information, he or she must also be someone the client feels comfortable with.
Laws about spousal support vary by jurisdiction. A licensed spousal support lawyer will be familiar with the ones that apply to the state or province where he or she is practicing. In the United States, the decision of whether to award spousal support, how much should be paid and for how long is made by judges. An award for temporary support is not uncommon, but permanent alimony is usually reserved for people who were in long-term marriages and have been out of the workforce for a number of years. A person who wants to receive alimony needs to find a good spousal support lawyer and apply to the court for this money.
In other parts of the world, spousal support is treated differently. For residents of Ontario, Canada, the law about spousal support is different. A spouse, either married or common law, has the legal right to receive support from the other person when the relationship breaks down. The financial support is meant to help the recipient bridge the gap until he or she can become self-supporting.
To find a qualified spousal support lawyer, a person can contact the state Bar Association or Law Society. These organizations should have a list of names of members in good standing for referral purposes. Other places to look for names of local child and spousal support attorneys are the Internet and the Yellow Pages. Referrals from people who have been through a separation or divorce can also be helpful.
Once a client has a list of names, the next step in the process is to contact each attorney to book an initial appointment. During this time, the client should ask each spousal support lawyer a series of questions about his or her level of experience, approach to alimony cases and success rate. The final decision about which spousal support lawyer is best is a highly personal one, and the client should choose the person he or she feels will represent his or her interests in the best possible manner.