For many divorcing couples in California, the topic of spousal support can be extremely contentious. While it is true that spousal support can be ordered as part of an official divorce, it is important to note that the obligation to pay spousal support does not automatically terminate upon remarriage or death; many former spouses stay obligated throughout their lives.
The Alkam Law Offices can offer you the guidance and legal services that you need if you are seeking spousal support. We have over 20 years of experience handling divorce cases for men and women throughout California, including individuals who require spousal support. Our Spousal Support Attorneys in California will work tirelessly to help bring about a commensurate resolution to your unique situation.
We invite you to call our San Francisco office at +1 (714) 491-2556 to request a confidential consultation with one of our Spousal Support Attorneys in California. We look forward to the opportunity to help you resolve any issues related to spousal support.
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Spousal Support In California
Though there is no legal definition for “spousal support”, this term generally refers to the legal obligation of one spouse (the “obligor”) to pay money to another (the “obligee”) during and/or after a divorce.
To receive spousal support, you must be qualified as a “dependent” spouse under California Family Code Section 4330. To be a “dependent” spouse, the following conditions must exist:
- You were married to the person you intend to get spousal support from.
- Your former spouse earns more than you do during separation or divorce.
- You cannot support yourself through employment without interfering with the interests of dependent children in your custody or visitation rights.
To determine whether you are a dependent spouse, the court will look at your financial situation before and after the separation or divorce.
Several factors in the Family Code Section 4320 determine how much spousal support will be paid. They include:
- How long the couple was married.
- The age and health of both spouses.
- The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
- How much income each spouse brings to the relationship, etc.
- The job skills held by the spouse seeking support.
Though there are no “hard” rules when it comes to spousal support, there are many guidelines that are typically considered in making such determinations. These guidelines, which vary from state to state, are often referred to as the “Marriage Dissolution Guidelines.”
How Much Spousal Support is Paid?
As noted above, spousal support determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. Generally accepted guidelines will be applied to a given situation, but the final numbers can vary greatly. The amount of support paid can depend on many factors; some of them include:
- The income of both spouses.
- The length of the marriage.
- Whether one spouse has been ordered to pay for educational expenses (such as tuition and books) for the requesting spouse.
- Any other financial obligations imposed on either party (i.e., child support).
What happens if I Cannot Obtain Spousal Support?
If you feel like you qualify for spousal support but cannot obtain it through negotiations or mediation (a process where the spouses attempt to resolve their issues with the help of a neutral third party), there is always arbitration.
Arbitration is where both parties present evidence and arguments before an arbitrator; this person then decides spousal support. If you have a strong history of spousal support, the court will typically order it unless there is a compelling reason.
How can I avoid paying spousal support?
Since several factors determine the amount of spousal support to be paid, it is possible to get waived of the responsibility. Getting such an order can depend on your situation and how much weight the court gives to certain factors.
Let Our Skilled Spousal Support Lawyers Protect Your Rights
When you work with us, we make sure your case is handled properly from the beginning to avoid disputes and possible litigation. Let us help you get justice or the best spousal support settlement possible! If you are looking for legal representation in these matters, please contact our firm at +1 (714) 491-2556 for your case evaluation today.