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Answers to Your Spousal Support & Child Support - Family Law Attorney

Answers to Your Spousal Support & Child Support

Answers to Your Spousal Support & Child Support 

Learn How Both Work in Your West Virginia Divorce

If you’re looking for answers to questions concerning spousal support and child support, you’re in the right place. We all know that going through a divorce and dealing with child custody is a challenge. It would help if you had a divorce attorney in West Virginia who clarifies these critical financial matters so you can plot a course forward. Below, we answer all your most pressing questions on family law, child support, spousal support, and alimony for a West Virginia divorce proceeding.

 

How much can I expect to receive in spousal support? 

There is no official alimony support calculator in West Virginia that determines the precise amount of spousal support you will receive. There are numerous factors that are applied by a judge when determining whether to award spousal support. 

 

Is spousal support modifiable during the divorce? 

Yes. Under some circumstances, if you or your spouse experiences substantial changes in circumstances that differ from those under which you signed the original agreement, you may be able to modify it. “Substantial changes” include things like major medical problems or unemployment. Under West Virginia law, spousal support will often not be awarded to a spouse who is adulterous or convicted of a felony. 

 

Will I need to hire a forensic accountant to help with the child support determination?

When you get divorced from somebody with complicated finances, such as self-employment, it may be beneficial to hire a forensic accountant. These professionals can evaluate each spouse’s income and determine the correct level of child support to be paid. Forensic analysis can determine whether either party is hiding sources of income from the other.

 

How much child support will I receive?

As a family law attorney, we know that financial planning is essential when going through a divorce. In West Virginia, the amount of child support you receive generally depends on the relative adjusted incomes of both spouses and the amount of time each parent provides care to the children.

 

Is child support modifiable during the divorce?

Yes. The law in West Virginia allows either parent to ask to change arrangements at any time.  As with spousal support, “substantial changes” to child support include things like job loss, some income increases,  promotion, or severe medical conditions. 

 

Want To Know More? Give us a call!

Located in Charleston, West Virginia, Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, has helped parents on matters of co-parenting, spousal support, and child support during and after divorce for many years. Tim Bradford heads up the firm and is a graduate of both West Virginia University and Marshall University. If you would like to learn more about where you stand on these challenging divorce issues, please call (304) 344-5700.

 

An Essential Guide to the Cost of Divorce and Attorney Fees - Family Law Attorney Blog

An Essential Guide to the Cost of Divorce and Attorney Fees

An Essential Guide to the Cost of Divorce and Attorney Fees

Your Most Pressing Questions – Answered!

When we go through a divorce, all sorts of thoughts can go through your mind. We particularly worry about how it will affect our finances. In this article, we look at divorce costs so that you can prepare financially for your divorce.

 

The Basic Cost of Your West Virginia Divorce 

When going through a separation, it is only natural for us to worry about the cost of divorce, but what can you expect to pay? 

In contested divorces, legal fees will vary depending on the case complexities. Remember, these fees are associated with representation in the divorce. They do not include any assets or income you may have to transfer to your spouse. 

 

How You Can Control the Cost of Divorce

We understand that you may be worried about the cost of divorce. For that reason, we work by your side to ensure that you maximize your financial advantage under the law. 

In many divorces, it is up to the discretion of the judge to determine who should get what financially. The law has plenty of slack and often states that spouses should pay support in proportion to their relative incomes. Therefore, it is essential to have a trained attorney on your side, representing your case in court. 

Many people also wonder whether they can seek attorney’s fees against their spouse. Courts can award attorney fees under certain circumstances.

 

Discuss Fees with Your Family Law Attorney

Spouses that don’t qualify for a full or partial award for the cost of divorce still have recourse. One option is to petition the court to receive an advance from their share of the family assets. You can use this money to pay for a quality family law attorney.

We understand that paying legal fees for your divorce may stretch your finances too far. For that reason, we will discuss the costs upfront.

 

Gain Control of Your Divorce Finances 

Located in Charleston, West Virginia, Bradford Law Offices, PLLC is here to help you get the resolution to your divorce that you deserve. Tim Bradford has the qualifications and experience to help you reduce the cost of your divorce.  With his experience, you can improve the likelihood of a satisfactory outcome. Call us at (304) 344-5700 to get the support you need. Keep in mind that Tim Bradford practices in Putnam, Clay, Raleigh, Kanawha, Boone, Lincoln, Nicholas, and Logan counties. 

 

An Essential Guide to the Cost of Divorce and Attorney Fees - Family Law Attorney Blog

How to Communicate with Your Divorce Attorney - Family Law Lawyer Blog

How to Communicate with Your Divorce Attorney

Correspondence During Your West Virginia Divorce

Experiencing a divorce is among the most overwhelming periods of your life. Communication, both with your spouse and divorce attorney, is essential to make the process smooth and manageable. We have the privilege of fighting in your corner during this hard time, but a consistent, open, honest, and streamlined communication process is essential.

We know that every client is different and living the divorce1 experience differently. So, before starting to work on the case together, we will get to know you a little better. Aside from the events that have led to this situation, we will consider your habits and preferences. Some individuals prefer to use emails, while others are more comfortable having a chat over the phone. We can also video chat.   

 

What to Know About Communicating with Your Family Law Attorney

If you need support about child custody or co-parenting issues, we require a direct line of honest and open communication. When you receive updates about your case or documents, you are likely to be overwhelmed by the amount of information and unfamiliar terms. While we understand that you might have several questions, read the papers through and take notes. Your West Virginia divorce attorney will answer all of your questions promptly.

 

FAQs About Communicating with Your Divorce Attorney

If you have required the help of a family lawyer, you probably have many questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

 

How often will we communicate about my divorce case? 

Your family law attorney is working for you, and for your life, so you should feel free to get in touch and get your questions answered any time you need. However, it is essential to take notes and collect all the items you have to then brainstorm with your lawyer. Sending continuous emails can stall the communication process, creating issues in the future.

 

How will we communicate with each other? 

As we have seen above, you and your lawyer will agree on your needs’ best communication process. However, today, the most used methods are emails, fax, phone calls, video conferencing, and in-person meetings.

 

What type of communication should I have with my spouse about the issues my attorney and I discuss?

Ask your attorney whether there are issues you can discuss with your spouse. However, you should not communicate directly with your spouse’s lawyer when you have an attorney.

 

How can I keep communication between my spouse and me amicable? 

Maintain a respectful tone during your cordial meetings. If your spouse does not respect such social rules, ask your attorney to step in rather than answer in the same way. Avoid sarcastic or demeaning tones as these can have consequences in the outcome of the case. 

 

How will I receive copies of paperwork related to my case?

You are likely to receive your paperwork via email or by post, depending on what you have agreed on.

 

Need help? Get in touch with us!

Proper communication is essential to avoid additional stress and anxiety during a divorce. It can be challenging to keep up with all the communication streams with your lawyer and spouse. However, here at Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, we will be able to guide you through this process and answer all your questions. Get in touch today at (304) 344-5700 to set up your consultation. 

How to Communicate with Your Divorce Attorney - Family Law Lawyer Blog

Family Law in a Divorce Proceeding - Family Law Attorney Blog

Family Law in a Divorce Proceeding

Fighting for Your Children is Our Top Priority

Family Law in a Divorce Proceeding - Family Law Attorney Blog

Are you in need of West Virginia divorce lawyer? We know how important it is to make the right decision when it comes to your family’s future. It is particularly crucial if children are involved because you need to think about the emotional well-being of the child at all times. Divorce can be incredibly stressful for children, especially if there is a question of child custody.

 

Why You Need A Family Law Attorney

 

The first factor to be aware of is that the law is not designed to be understood by a layperson. Indeed, studying law is like studying a whole other language. That’s why you need to hire an expert who has a deep understanding of divorce law and the aspects that are involved. They will inform you of your rights and provide all the information that you need.

 

Divorce lawyers can deliver emotional support to you and anyone else that may be involved. The right lawyer can aid you in explaining to your child what is occurring during a divorce process, and guide you on how to proceed after the divorce is finalized. Furthermore, while you may be emotional, a lawyer will keep a clear mind and make the best decisions on your behalf.

 

Traits To Look For In A Divorce Lawyer

 

If you are looking for a divorce attorney in Charleston, West Virginia, you need to make sure you choose someone caring and compassionate. A divorce lawyer needs to see more than the numbers and truly understand what you are going through on an emotional level.

 

If children are involved, a divorce lawyer should have experience in this area. They need to know how a divorce can impact a child and provide coping mechanisms which you can put into place to get them through this difficult situation.

 

Your divorce lawyer should have fantastic success rates and be ready to fight for everything you need throughout this proceeding. They should be a strong negotiator and always be able to fight for your corner.  Divorce proceeding will always involve extensive levels of paperwork, so you want a divorce lawyer that can guide you through what you need to sign or check and be able to handle the rest for you.

 

Lastly, you need to be sure that they can match your budget requirements. Divorce1 proceedings can be expensive and some lawyers charge incredibly high rates. Make sure that you are prepared for the costs and that your lawyer is ready to provide a fantastic service at great value.

 

Cut Through The Confusion

 

There can be a lot of questions and confusion around a divorce proceeding. What went wrong? Was it me? Can I fix this? It’s an incredibly stressful time for everyone involved, so it’s important to discover ways to make the process easier, which can be eased by choosing the right divorce lawyer for you. At Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, we can provide the advice you need and ensure that the emotional requirements of you and your children are completely taken care of throughout the divorce process. Whether or not your case involves child custody, we will be with you every step of the way. You will have a shoulder to lean on, someone to talk to, and skilled professional fighting for your rights, your needs, and your kids.

Common Concerns in West Virginia Divorce - Family Law Attorney

Common Concerns in West Virginia Divorce

How Does the Court Determine Property Division and Alimony?

One of the things that’s very common when people are thinking about a divorce is to be concerned about how any property is going to be divided and whether or not they’re going to have enough money to live on after the divorce. It’s important to consider this when you’re making that very important decision as to whether or not you’re going to get a divorce. One thing that the court will do is look at any assets that either you or your spouse own and then determine whether or not that is an asset that is going to be divided by the court because it’s marital property or whether it’s separate property.

An example of something that would be separate property would be a home that was fully owned without mortgage before the marriage. Now, there are some factors that can complicate that after the marriage, but in general, that’s an easy thing to look at and say that is going to be at least substantially separate property.

Something that would be marital property is a pension plan. If the couple got married in 1999 and neither of them were working a job with a 401K or some sort of pension plan, then they get jobs and say the wife has a 401K with her employer and the husband has a traditional pension through state government with his employer. When they go to get a divorce, the court will divide that pension essentially in half for each spouse and give the other spouse their share of the marital portion. That’s an example property that would be divided.

Another thing that is very important in a divorce situation is whether or not you will receive or have to pay alimony, or as it’s called in West Virginia law1, spousal support. Spousal support is not an automatic in West Virginia and it is not something that most judges have a formula for; it’s really based on multiple factors that are laid out in case law and the statute.

When it comes to alimony, the first thing the court would ask is ”which party is more at fault than the other for the breakup of this marriage?” An easy example of that would be a spouse who’s enduring long-term domestic violence and where their children have been somehow attacked, and then the court would look at the ability to pay the need. The other thing to look at is whether or not the person who would obtain the alimony actually has a need for the alimony. The question to be asked would be, “does this person need financial support from the spouse to continue living as close as they could to the way they lived before this divorce or separation?”

In some cases, the completely not-at-fault spouse may have absolutely no financial need because of their own assets and their own ability to earn a living. They probably wouldn’t get alimony or they would probably just get a very little bit from the other party. The other side of that is “does this person who is being asked to pay the alimony and who is at fault, does that person have the ability to pay alimony?” That’s something that is determined by a case-by-case basis.

The amount of alimony that someone might be awarded is going to be different in every single case because every couple has different needs, different lifestyles, and different abilities to pay. There is no formula. A divorce lawyer can help you wade through all the factors that are relative to your situation. You need someone who can help advise you how to go about convincing the court to get that alimony.

 

Common Concerns in West Virginia Divorce - Family Law Attorney

5 Common Questions When Filing for Divorce in West Virginia

5 Common Questions When Filing for Divorce in West Virginia

Your Guide to the Divorce Process from a West Virginia Divorce Lawyer

Updated 05/11/2020

A divorce is one of the most challenging experiences that a person can go through in their lifetime. If you have children, divorce can become more complicated not only emotionally for you, but for your kids as well. However, even if you do not have kids, you are likely to be feeling down and stressed. 

 

How Long Will My Divorce Take?

The first thing most people want to know is how long it is going to take to get divorced. Divorce1 cases vary based on each situation, so Wa number of factors can impact the time it takes to get divorced. Waiting periods, separation requirements, and residency requirements can all stall the divorce process, or you and your spouse may require mediation to solve issues before heading to court. Such items could include child custody and support, property division, and alimony. 

 

How Much Will My Divorce Cost? 

Divorce has both variable and fixed costs to consider. Fixed costs include court fees, as well as the paperwork you must obtain to file for divorce. The exact charges will depend on where you file in West Virginia. Variable costs could include the likes of legal representation by an attorney and document preparation, as well as anything unexpected that could arise. 

 

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a more friendly approach to the divorce process. In this form of divorce, there is no opposition to what was requested in the divorce petition, or the two spouses agree on all arrangements made. These arrangements could include child custody and support, alimony, debt, property, and asset division, and more. If this is the case, a divorce attorney can assist in the creation and filing of the necessary paperwork. An uncontested divorce may save you money as well since you and your spouse are simplifying the divorce process by not battling out issues in court. 

 

What is No-Fault Divorce?

Another query you may have for your family law attorney or child support lawyer is about no-fault divorce. Traditionally, the only way that you would be able to secure a divorce is if you were able to prove that your other half had done something wrong. For example, being sentenced to prison or committing adultery. Such items meant that getting a divorce would not be an easy process. However, no-fault divorce laws have since passed in West Virginia. A spouse can file for divorce due to not wanting to be married to his/her spouse any longer. By stating “separation for one year” or “irreconcilable differences” on the divorce petition, papers can then be filed. 

 

Where Can I Find a Charleston, West Virginia Attorney?

If you are looking for the services of a divorce attorney who specializes in child custody and support, alimony, and property division in Charleston, West Virginia, contact Bradford Law Offices, PLLC to schedule a consultation with Tim Bradford to discuss your case. Tim will fight for you and the rights of your children and will stand beside you throughout the entire divorce process. Contact Tim today.  

5 Common Questions When Filing for Divorce in West Virginia - Divorce Lawyer WV

5 Things to Know About Property Division - Family Law Attorney Blog

5 Things to Know About Property Division

Updated on 02/27/2020

Property Division Lawyer in Charleston, WV

If you and your spouse have decided to seek a divorce in West Virginia, there are property and financial assets/debts that you need to consider before heading into court. West Virginia is an equitable distribution state.  Equitable distribution does not necessarily mean assets will be divided exactly equally among both spouses. 

List Your Assets and Debts

If the property was acquired before your marriage, the court generally sees this as separate property and does not need to be split among both spouses. Property acquired throughout the marriage such as a family home, jewelry, income, benefits, vehicles, and even debts on credit cards, loans, and childcare are subject to division by the family court1.  

Obtain Documentation

One way you can be prepared for your divorce proceedings is to gather as much documentation of your property and debts as possible. Such documentation could include purchase invoices, your annual income and benefits, 401k statements and other retirement account statements, any credit card or loan statements, vehicle forms, and more. Such documentation will also help you if you choose to seek spousal support. West Virginia law requires the court to compare the fault of each spouse when determining alimony, so ensure that you provide enough proof of any grievances against your spouse that have led you to this point. 

Request Spousal Support

If you were the person to file for the divorce, you can request spousal support in your divorce petition. If you happened to be the spouse who received divorce papers, you can still request spousal support in your answer to the divorce documents. There are specific requirements in West Virginia in order for you to receive alimony. These factors include the length that you and your spouse were married, the income of each spouse, and your future ability to earn an income. A judge will decide whether to approve or deny spousal support since all alimony cases are unique. There are multiple types of spousal support as well; permanent, temporary, rehabilitation, and gross. Again, the judge will determine what he/she feels is best for your situation.

Determine What You Want

To determine what the equal division of marital property should be, the court looks at monetary and non-monetary contributions in your marriage. These can be discussed in your pre-divorce meetings, which allow you and your spouse to sort out the value of the combined marital property. For example, should you sell your home and split the profits, or will one spouse keep the home and take over the payments? Will the debts are split between you both until they are paid off, or will you pay the car loans while your spouse covers the credit card payments that are leftover? Of course, other factors go into splitting marital property, so make sure to consult your West Virginia divorce lawyer before agreeing to anything. You want to be prepared before you go to court, so discuss what you want with your divorce attorney ahead of time. 

Contact Bradford Law Offices

Are you ready to get your property division in order? Contact Bradford Law Offices, PLLC. Tim Bradford is an experienced divorce attorney in Charleston, West Virginia who has practiced divorce law for years. Tim will help you to obtain the assets you need and the agreements that must be reached. Give Bradford Law Offices, PLLC a call today

5 Things to Know About Property Division - Divorce Lawyer WV

Family Law in a Divorce Proceeding - Family Law Attorney Blog

Family Law in a Divorce Proceeding

Updated on 02/27/2020

Family Law Attorney in Charleston, WV

Are you in need of a West Virginia divorce lawyer? We know how important it is to make the right decision when it comes to your family’s future. It is particularly crucial if children are involved because you need to think about the emotional well-being of the child at all times. Divorce can be incredibly stressful for children, especially if there is a question of child custody.

Why You Need A Family Law Attorney

The first factor to be aware of is that the law is not designed to be understood by a layperson. Indeed, studying law is like studying a whole other language. You need to hire an expert with a deep understanding of divorce law and the aspects that are involved. They will inform you of your rights and provide all the information that you need.

Divorce lawyers can deliver emotional support to you and anyone else that may be involved. The right lawyer can aid you in explaining to your child what is occurring during a divorce process, and guide you on how to proceed after the divorce1 is finalized. Furthermore, while you may be emotional, a lawyer will keep a clear mind and make the best decisions on your behalf.

Traits To Look For In A Divorce Lawyer

If you are looking for a divorce attorney in Charleston, West Virginia, you need to make sure you choose someone caring and compassionate. A divorce lawyer needs to see more than the numbers and truly understand what you are going through on an emotional level.

If children are involved, a divorce lawyer must have experience in this area. They need to know how a divorce can impact a child and provide coping mechanisms that you can put into place to get them through this difficult situation.

Your divorce lawyer should have fantastic success rates and be ready to fight for everything you need throughout this proceeding. They should be a strong negotiator and always be able to fight for your corner.  Divorce proceedings will always involve extensive levels of paperwork, so you want a divorce lawyer that can guide you through what you need to sign or check and be able to handle the rest for you.

Lastly, you need to be sure that they can match your budget requirements. Divorce proceedings can be expensive and some lawyers charge incredibly high rates. Make sure that you are prepared for the costs and that your lawyer is ready to provide a fantastic service at a great value.

Cut Through The Confusion of Child Custody Battles

There can be a lot of questions and confusion around a divorce proceeding. It’s an incredibly stressful time for everyone involved, so it’s important to discover ways to make the process easier, which can be eased by choosing the right divorce lawyer for you.

At Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, we can provide the advice you need and ensure that the emotional requirements of you and your children are completely taken care of throughout the divorce process. Whether or not your case involves child custody, we will be with you every step of the way. You will have a shoulder to lean on, someone to talk to, and skilled professionals fighting for your rights, your needs, and your kids.

Family Law in a Divorce Proceeding - Family Law Attorney Blog

Co-Parenting During the Summer in West Virginia | Child Custody Tips for After a West Virginia Divorce

Co-Parenting During the Summer in West Virginia

Updated: 03/17/2020

Child Custody Tips for After a West Virginia Divorce

Co-parenting in West Virginia can be a challenge for any parent, but it is especially challenging for divorced parents due to scheduling conflicts with an ex-spouse or partner. The warmer months involve weeks of trying to entertain the kids and arrange childcare while you work, all while trying to coordinate with an ex-spouse’s schedule.

If you aren’t careful, co-parenting can be exhausting, but co-parenting, especially while the kids are out of school, can become a competition on who the children see more. Given that you’ve probably already been through the family court1 during your divorce, you’ll want to do what you can to work through this season.

Though you most likely already have your co-parenting schedule that was set by the court, it is a good reminder to talk it over with your ex-spouse to ensure that it will be followed correctly. If you are in the process of getting a divorce, be sure to talk with your child custody lawyer about your wishes not only for the warmer months but for the rest of the year so it can be settled while in court.

Plan Well in Advance

Planning ahead should be your number one priority when it comes to co-parenting throughout the warmer months, like summer, or while your kids are out of school. During that planning stage, talk about simple issues, like days out and who will pay for them, as well as broader issues like possible vacations. That way, each parent knows exactly what’s going to happen and when and offers assurance that there won’t be any surprise trips away from home or sudden expenses that one party will have to cover. This is the kind of thing that a child custody attorney could talk you through and help you settle in court during your divorce hearing.

Discuss Childcare

Obviously, there are going to be times when you need to arrange childcare. Arguments will arise if you do not abide by the arrangments that were set during your divorce hearing. This helps to prevent the issue of one parent feeling put out if they find that the other parent has been using childcare services that were not agreed upon. To avoid this, plan childcare options together, especially if this was your court agreement, such as a particular baby sitter, or family member.

Show a United Front

Though you may not be married anymore, your ex-spouse will be in your life if he/she is the other parent to your children. That’s why it is necessary to agree on the rules and show a united front when it comes to parenting your children. Make sure you both know what bedtime schedules look like, if your kids are allowed to be out alone, or if you have a child who is grounded at one house, to be grounded at the other to show unity.

While warmer months like summer are more relaxed than term time, arguments are inevitable if one parent lets the kids get away with more than the other parent allows. Even worse, this can cause your children to play you off against one another. That’s a spiral no co-parent wants to deal with.

Still Can’t Agree? Get a Third Party Involved

Sometimes, you can put the above pointers into place and still stumble into trouble. In that instance, contacting a West Virginia family law attorney is often the best way forward. With a child custody attorney behind you, you can develop plans without having to talk with your ex-partner at all, if need be, or lay the legal groundwork to ensure you both stick to the plan in place. If you’re in the process of getting a divorce, or if you are having child custody issues, don’t hesitate to contact Bradford Law Offices, PLLC for all your child custody and family law needs.

Co-Parenting During the Summer in West Virginia | Family Law Attorney WV

Child Custody: When a Parent Abuses Drugs

Child Custody: When a Parent Abuses Drugs

Child Custody in W.Va. When a Parent Abuses Drugs

It wasn’t long ago that the epidemic of prescription drugs and heroin would have been unthinkable in West Virginia. Unfortunately, more and more parents and even grandparents face child custody cases that involve a drug-abusing parent. The best interest of the minor child should always be the focus of West Virginia Family Courts1. The Family Court may order random drug screens and appoint a guardian ad litem in such cases. The Family Court can take measures such as ordering supervised visitation and drug abuse therapy. The goal of the Family Court always is to protect the child in cases when a parent abuses drugs.