Understanding Spousal Support/Alimony
In California, spousal support is what used to be called alimony. Spousal support is a complex issue where the assistance of a good attorney is very important. There is no set formula or guideline to calculate spousal support. Interim spousal support can be ordered by the court pending the dissolution of marriage, but it is not automatic. Because spousal support generally cannot be backdated to the date you ask the court for it, you may need to act fast to protect your rights.
Call William H. Sams, Attorney at Law, in Vista, at 760-657-2257 or contact us online for your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION to learn more about how spousal support is handled in California and in military divorces.
Spousal Support Is Not Uncommon
Sometimes a spouse will tell you that you will never get spousal support. They may give you several reasons to support their opinion. Don’t listen to them; you need honest, unbiased advice. Court orders for spousal support in California are much more common than some people think. The needs of each spouse and their ability to support the marital standard of living are important considerations. The domestic responsibilities of a parent raising children may have negatively impacted that parent’s career or job potential. The length of the marriage, health of the parties, assets and debts are all considerations. One spouse may support the other through an educational program or may simply support the other’s career advancement. The important thing to remember is that spousal support is an area where an attorney’s representation is very important.
When Is Spousal Support Awarded?
If one spouse is currently unable to support himself or herself at anywhere near the standard of living experienced during the marriage, temporary support may be awarded. The goal is to allow the person a chance to gain the education or skills necessary to do so. If the person is elderly or disabled, permanent alimony may be awarded, given the slim chance the person will ever be able to do so.
What Are The Factors That Determine Support Amounts And Duration?
In California, there are over 14 factors the court must consider in making a final spousal support order. The court will also consider “any other factors it determines are just and equitable.” Some are obvious, such as the standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, the age and physical and mental abilities each spouse, and the income or income potential of each spouse.
What If Your Spouse Just Doesn’t Want To Work Or Hides Income?
In some cases, a spouse doesn’t work or is intentionally underemployed. Sometimes a spouse may quit their job in anticipation of a divorce. A spouse who was healthy during the marriage may suddenly have a health issue now that they claim prevents them from working. Sometimes people hide their income. Sometimes it is necessary to subpoena financial records and hire an expert to provide an opinion on income available for support or ability of the dependant to work.
Your Attorney’s Role
Your attorney guides your case through the complex task of obtaining and organizing evidence relevant to spousal support. With skillful negotiation, your attorney will attempt to reach an agreement with the other side. If an agreement cannot be reached, then your attorney takes your case to court and is your advocate. I will be your strongest advocate.