When a couple decides to end their marriage in Oceanside, California, they must address multiple important legal details before their divorce can be finalized. In many divorce cases, one spouse is required to make spousal support payments to the other party to ensure they can still live comfortably during their transitional period when the marriage ends. Whether you’re looking to request spousal support from your partner or you’re the one being asked to make the payments, having a qualified divorce attorney to assist you through the process is essential.
At Paula D. Kleinman, A Professional Law Corporation, our team is devoted to making a difference in the lives of people who are getting divorced. We know how convoluted these cases can become, and we are committed to helping each of our clients find solutions to all of their different family law issues. With over 20 years of experience in family law, we have worked on a multitude of spousal support cases and are prepared to assist you with yours. If you are searching for an Oceanside spousal support attorney you can trust, see how we can represent you today.
Spousal support, more commonly known as “alimony,” is a legal order that requires one spouse to pay their former partner for a set period so that they can still take care of themselves when the marriage ends. Alimony is often requested and ordered when one spouse made the majority of the income during the marriage, resulting in the other partner not having sustainable financial support when they go off on their own. According to California law, spousal support can be requested in divorces, legal separations of both spouses and domestic partners, and in some cases of domestic violence where a restraining order had to be implemented.
California offers two main kinds of spousal support for those who are looking to request it.
Temporary Spousal Support
Temporary spousal support is a form of alimony that a spouse can request during the divorce process before it is finalized. A partner may request temporary spousal support at any time after filing their case if they have sufficient reason for why they need the support. These reasons could include anything from you being unemployed because your spouse was the major breadwinner to you currently don’t make enough to make ends meet on your own. Regardless of your reason, the court will consider a variety of details before granting one party temporary support. If you are granted temporary alimony, you’ll most likely receive it for one to three months.
Long-Term Spousal Support
Long-term spousal support, sometimes called “permanent” spousal support, is most often awarded in cases where the marriage lasted for a long period of time, when one spouse made the majority of the family income, or when one party made significantly more than the other spouse. This form of alimony is established once the spousal support case and divorce are finalized, implementing the order for whatever period of time the court decided on. In most cases, the longer a marriage lasted between two people, the more time the spousal support payments are going to be required. Many long-term alimony payments are required indefinitely.
It is important to note that the gender of the partner ordered to make alimony payments does not affect the decision, as many people tend to think the court may favor mothers over fathers. Instead, the primary factor that decides who will be making spousal support payments is the income of each partner. If spousal support is ordered, the higher-earning spouse is the one required to make payments to the other. This is to help them through their transitional period from married life and assist them in becoming self-sufficient again.
When determining how much an individual will pay in alimony and how long their payments will last, a judge has to consider a variety of aspects. According to the California Family Code, the court will look at factors such as the following when forming spousal support orders:
When the court determines how long an individual must make spousal support payments, the two biggest factors a judge will take into consideration include how long the marriage lasted and whether the spousal support order is temporary or permanent. If the order is temporary, it is much easier for the court to put a set time limit on the support.
With long-term spousal support, however, payments can be required indefinitely. In marriages that lasted for 10 years or more, it is easy to become dependent on your spouse for financial support. The payments are required “indefinitely” because there is no automatic expiration of a long-term spousal support order. Instead, after the spousal support order has been implemented, the court will keep jurisdiction over the matter and will most likely wait to set a date for alimony payments to end — if a date is set at all.
A judge will be looking at details such as how long it may take for the supported spouse to become employed, become self-sufficient, be able to pay their monthly bills, and how much money they might need to get themselves there. With those details in mind in addition to all the other factors a judge takes into consideration when determining the amount of spousal support required, a judge may or may not determine an end date for your alimony payments. If the supported spouse remarries, if they pass away, or if both spouses agree to end the payments, then the court can terminate the spousal support order.
There are a variety of ways in which a skilled family law attorney can help you through your spousal support case. Here are a few of the benefits that come along with hiring an experienced lawyer during your divorce:
Unlike other mandatory court orders like child support, spousal support is not legally required in every divorce case in California. This is why an individual who believes they need alimony must request it during their divorce. However, if the court sees a drastic difference in the incomes of both parties, they may require it even if one party doesn’t request it. You will most likely be required to pay spousal support in California if you had a marriage that lasted multiple years, you made the only income in the family, or your spouse doesn’t make enough money on their own to properly support themselves. If you’re unsure of whether you qualify for spousal support, don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm to evaluate your case.
Many individuals going through the divorce process try to avoid going to court as much as possible. This leaves them wondering if there is a way to avoid trial for their spousal support order. Luckily, like with other matters of a divorce, the court offers separating couples the option to try and make agreements on spousal support amicably outside of court. If the couple can come to a mutual decision on spousal support payments, they can bring their agreement up during the judgment phase of their divorce. If a couple is unable to make a mutual decision, whether they tried on their own or with the help of a mediator, then the final decision on the order will be given to the court.
Life can change quickly — and so can your financial situation. That’s why California offers individuals the ability to request modifications on their spousal support orders if something significant has occurred. In most situations, an individual requesting to have their order modified is going to need to provide evidence that there was some sort of substantial change to their financial situation, making it more difficult for them to make payments than when their order was first implemented. It’s highly recommended that individuals looking to modify their alimony orders work with an experienced divorce attorney so that they can properly gather evidence and file for the change they need.
If a person’s income increases after the divorce is final, the court can’t consider this as a basis for ordering more spousal support than what is required by the marital living standards. Similarly, an ex-spouse can’t ask for spousal support after the divorce has already been finalized.
When it comes to any kind of divorce issue in Oceanside, the team at Paula D. Kleinman, A Professional Law Corporation, are the family law lawyers you can count on. If you are going through a divorce and trying to settle spousal support matters, our team is prepared to guide you through your case and represent your interests along the way. Whether you need spousal support to be able to make your monthly bills or you believe you’re being asked to pay too much to your ex-spouse, we are ready to assist you. To learn more about our spousal support services or to schedule a free case evaluation, contact us as soon as possible.
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