Guiding You Through Complex Spousal Support Matters
In any divorce, a court’s greatest area of discretion involves the amount of spousal support, or alimony, that a spouse will pay, and how long they will pay it for. If you expect to receive or pay alimony or spousal support, this is one area where your choice of lawyer can make a major difference. I am family lawyer Paula D. Kleinman. For more than 20 years, I have dedicated my law practice to helping my clients reach fair spousal support arrangements. Contact me today to discuss your alimony/spousal support goals.
Courts Must Look At Many Factors When Determining Alimony
In California, courts have the power to award two different kinds of spousal support. Temporary support can be awarded while divorce litigation is pending. Permanent support is awarded after the divorce. The temporary support award is very important, as judges will typically use the temporary award as a basis for determining permanent support.
When courts decide whether or not to make an award of spousal support, they are required to look at a number of factors, including:
- The standard of living during the marriage
- Length of the marriage
- Age of the parties
- Health of the parties
- The incomes of each spouse
- The earning potential of each spouse
- Tax implications
Every alimony case is very fact-specific. In marriages that last less than ten years, courts frequently award alimony for half the length of the marriage. For instance, if you were married for eight years, it is very possible the courts will compel one spouse to pay alimony for four years. This is simply a “rule of thumb”, and courts are under no obligation to follow this rule. For marriages lasting longer than ten years, courts may award alimony for a longer period of time. I have negotiated and litigated many alimony arrangements. At the outset of every case, I will listen to you explain your goals. I will speak candidly as to whether I will be able to achieve your goals under the law. In every case, I want my clients to have clear expectations about what we can and cannot achieve.