Divorce is difficult. Many couples try everything they can to avoid it. Unfortunately, facing divorce can raise many questions, the first of which is how alimony may impact you—more specifically, how to avoid paying it. This complex question is really a matter of circumstance since each divorce case is different. With the right understanding of how alimony works, you can position yourself in a way that protects your finances.
Alimony is also referred to as “spousal support.” It consists of financial payments made by one spouse to another after a divorce has been finalized. Alimony serves to help maintain a standard of living for one spouse and can be awarded either temporarily or permanently. It is designed to help one spouse recover financially after a divorce when there is a disparity in income between both spouses.
The courts are not required to award alimony to either spouse. It is usually awarded only when one spouse makes a significantly higher income than the other. Other factors that determine whether alimony is assigned include:
These factors, among others, play an important role in deciding if the court will award alimony payments to one spouse or the other. When trying to avoid paying alimony, you will want to build a case with your attorney while keeping these factors in mind.
Avoiding alimony payments can be difficult, but not impossible. Possible strategies include:
Working with your attorney, you will need to show that alimony is not required for the other spouse for any number of reasons. You should also indicate that you are willing to give up other assets to help balance the income lost from not receiving alimony or having a prenuptial agreement in place. California courts are not required to order alimony. Instead, the individual spouses are responsible for protecting their finances.
California courts do make judgments based on age, gender, race, or any other identifying personal trait. The burden of proving whether one spouse should receive alimony or not is solely up to the evidence presented during the divorce case. The couple can also make agreements either amicably or through mediation.
Alimony payments are awarded by the court based on the need of one spouse to maintain a lifestyle or establish a foundation to build on. Regardless of gender, to avoid alimony payments, you must show that they are unnecessary. This can be done by examining the circumstances specific to your divorce proceedings.
Whenever a spouse wishes to challenge an existing spousal support order, they must file a Request for Order, which asks the court to review changes in circumstances for either spouse. If, for instance, the spouse receiving support comes into money, they may no longer need the alimony payments. If the spouse making the payments has a decrease in their earnings, it could decrease or eliminate the payments they make.
Avoiding alimony may not be possible, but it is not automatically awarded either. Your first step in any divorce process is to acquire the services of an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney. They can review your divorce case and determine if you may be required to pay alimony. If so, they can help you understand your options. The attorneys at All American Law can do just that. Contact our offices today for a consultation.