A divorce includes several different family law cases, including property division, child custody determinations, and spousal support determinations. Divorces are financially stressful due to court costs, attorney fees, lost time at work, and the knowledge that you will be living on your own income rather than the income of two spouses. Spousal support payments can help spouses live according to equal standards of living for a period of time after divorce. Negotiating and determining spousal support payments can be a stressful and frustrating thing for both spouses. A spousal support lawyer in Fontana, CA can help you understand your rights and responsibilities for spousal support and advocate for your interests in mediation or litigation.
No divorce is the same, and each couple faces unique and complicated challenges. At All American Law, we ensure that our legal counsel is tailored to you, your relationship, your family, and your needs. The attorneys at All American Law have over 30 years of collective experience in family law, and this experience allows us to navigate your divorce case skillfully while effectively working for your interests. A Fontana spousal support lawyer understands how alimony payments can become a stressful and contentious issue and wants to guide you and your spouse to a resolution that supports you both after the divorce is finalized.
The most common form of spousal support is monthly payments made from one spouse to another. These payments are more likely when one spouse earns a higher income, or retains more separate assets, than the other spouse. Support payments seek to provide each spouse with the same standard of living that they had during their marriage. This allows the lower-earning spouse to have enough financial support to meet their needs and become self-supporting over time. Support payments may either be temporary or permanent.
Temporary spousal support payments are awarded while a divorce is still ongoing. If one spouse needs financial support before the case is finalized, and the other spouse has the ability to pay it, the court may order temporary support. These payments end when the case is finalized.
Temporary support payments often follow a simplified formula. The payments are 40% of the higher-earning spouse’s income minus 50% of the lower-earning spouse’s income. This formula may be altered based on a couple’s unique circumstances.
Permanent, or long-term, spousal support is very rarely permanent. This form of support is awarded when a divorce is finalized, with the intention of providing a spouse financial support for several months or years after the divorce. The longer a marriage lasts, the more likely it is that support payments will last longer. The length of support payments will rely on the judge’s determination of a reasonable amount of time. The length and amount of spousal support are not calculated based on a formula but on several factors:
A: Spousal support determinations rely on the unique factors of a marriage and each spouse’s financial ability. Either spouse may request spousal support, and the court will determine if such support is appropriate based on each spouse’s income and financial needs, along with any other factors as determined by the circumstances of their marriage.
A: Permanent spousal support, or support awarded after a divorce case, does not have an exact formula in California. A separation may not even have spousal support. The judge will determine if spousal support will be awarded, and how much, based on factors such as:
A: The length of a marriage does affect alimony determination in California, but there is no exact number of years that a marriage must last before alimony is guaranteed. Instead, the length of time that one spouse receives support payments may rely on the length of the marriage. Marriage duration is also one of the factors when a judge is determining spousal support. The longer a marriage is, the more likely that the judge is to award support to the spouse who needs it. However, other factors will still influence whether there is alimony.
A: If you are still in your divorce case, the most effective way to avoid paying alimony is to work with an experienced divorce attorney. Spousal support is never guaranteed in a California divorce, and an attorney is a valuable asset when arguing why you don’t need to pay support. If your divorce case has already been finalized by the court, you can only avoid paying spousal support by getting a modification of the order. An order modification is only possible if there has been a change in circumstances, including a significant change to your or your ex-spouse’s income. If your ex-spouse is cohabitating with a new partner, or has taken steps to become more self-supporting, this may also be a reason to modify support orders.
Whether you need spousal support payments to provide for yourself and your family or you are being asked to pay spousal support, All American Law can represent your interests. Contact our team today.