Spousal support, which used to be called alimony, is money that is paid by one spouse to another during and after a divorce in California. Today’s spousal support is gender neutral and is rarely lifelong because spouses are expected to make an effort to eventually become financially self-sufficient. If you can’t reach an agreement with your spouse about support, the court will issue an order based on California law. If you’re seeking support or being asked to pay it, it’s important to speak to an experienced California spousal support attorney to ensure that your interests are protected. Envision Family Law, LLP is known for our personal service and excellent outcomes.
Temporary Spousal Support
This type of “pendente lite” support is intended to preserve the status quo by requiring a higher earning spouse to make payments to a lower earning spouse until there is a settlement or court order ending the action for divorce. Each California county has its own calculator to determine how much is paid and judges rarely deviate from this amount. It’s important to remember that expenses that might not be considered in determining the amount of child support, might be relevant for an application to the court requiring your spouse to pay your attorney fees. Whether you’re requesting support or being asked to pay it, it’s important to get advice from an experienced California spousal support attorney that knows how to protect your interests.
Permanent Spousal Support
The court has much more discretion with ordering permanent spousal support at trial and will use the fourteen factors set forth in California Family Code Section 4320 as a guide to determine the amount and duration of spousal support. The length of support is usually in proportion to the length of the marriage. This means that you’re unlikely to receive spousal support (or have to pay it to your spouse) if the marriage lasted less than a year. If your marriage lasts for at least nine years, you’re likely to be awarded payments (or required to make payments) for about half the length of the marriage. For longer marriages of ten years or more, you could receive or make payments for a longer period of time, for life or until remarriage. The amount of support will depend on the disparity in incomes, the skills and education of both parties and whether one party has given up professional opportunities to take care of children. It’s called a permanent order for spousal support, but it’s important to know that it can be modified if the financial situations of the former spouses drastically change.
California Spousal Support Attorney
If you believe you’re entitled to support or that you shouldn’t be paying it, it’s important to speak to an experienced California spousal support attorney who can help you understand your rights. Envision Family Law, LLP prides itself on providing the highest quality legal services in California to every client served.