Any divorce case is likely to pose difficult financial questions to the spouses involved. When one spouse earns significantly more income than the other, the divorce can dramatically impact their standard of living and financial stability. Spousal support, often called “alimony,” entails regular payments from one ex-spouse to the other. The purpose of spousal support is to ensure the supported spouse has the means to live independently at a standard of living similar to what they had while married. Every case is unique, but one thing that benefits anyone going through a spousal support determination is legal counsel from an experienced Rancho Cucamonga spousal support lawyer.
All American Law has more than 30 years of combined experience representing clients in all types of family law cases in California, including complex divorce cases that entail spousal support. We understand that spousal support is a hotly contested issue in many divorce cases and strive to provide our clients with clarity and peace of mind as they approach these problematic cases. Whether you anticipate paying or receiving spousal support from your divorce order, our team will assist you in navigating your case efficiently and securing a lawful and reasonable spousal support determination.
Attempting to navigate any family law case in California without legal representation is incredibly difficult. While you might think you can manage your case proceedings on your own and save money on legal fees, the reality is that the average person is likely to make significant mistakes when they try to handle their own representation. You could end up with an untenable spousal support agreement or encounter other legal issues you do not know how to handle. Ultimately, spousal support is a complex issue, and it’s vital to have legal counsel you can trust in any difficult divorce case.
All American Law understands that every divorce is unique, and everyone who goes through the divorce process will face challenges. Spousal support can be a complex subject for many reasons. The paying spouse may feel slighted by the family court system, or the recipient may believe the court’s determination is unfair or fails to address their needs appropriately. Our team takes a client-focused approach to every case we accept. We’ll review the details of your situation and your financial information to help you reach a fair and reasonable spousal support determination in your divorce case. We can also assist you if you’re revisiting an existing spousal support agreement for any reason.
The California family court system uses a simplified calculation to determine spousal support for most divorce cases in the state. The court first calculates 40% of the higher-earning spouse’s income and then reduces this amount by one-half of the lower-earning spouse’s income. For example, if the higher-earning spouse makes $10,000 per month and the lower-earning spouse makes $3,000 per month, the calculation begins with 40% of the higher-earning spouse’s income, which would be $4,000. This is reduced by half of the lower-earning spouse’s income, which would be $1,500, so the spousal support obligation would be $2,500 per month.
It’s important to note that this is a baseline calculation, and several variables can potentially influence a spousal support determination. For example, if the couple has children together and must determine child custody and child support, spousal support calculation occurs following child support determination. Your Rancho Cucamonga spousal support lawyer can help you determine which factors are likely to influence the outcome of your spousal support case.
Every spousal support order will include terms and conditions pertaining to when support payments end and the grounds on which any party can file for an amendment to the support order. Spousal support in California automatically terminates with the death of either spouse or as soon as the supported ex-spouse remarries. A paying ex-spouse may also petition for termination of spousal support if the supported ex-spouse begins cohabitating with a new partner, as this inherently reduces their living expenses.
It is also possible for any party subject to a spousal support determination to request a reasonable change to their spousal support terms in certain circumstances. For example, if a paying ex-spouse loses their job and can no longer make their payments in full, they can request a modification to their spousal support order to reflect their new income level. If the recipient learns that the paying party had an increase in income, or if they discover any information that should have been addressed during the initial spousal support determination, they will also have the right to file a petition for modification to reflect these details.
It’s important to note that most spousal support orders in California will include specific terms regarding the time that payments must continue to be made. Typically, if a marriage lasted 10 years or less, spousal support payments must continue for half the duration of the marriage. For example, if the couple was married for six years, spousal support will likely continue for three years following divorce unless a terminating action occurs. If the marriage lasted longer than 10 years, the length of time that spousal support must continue is left to the discretion of the judge handling the dispute.
Ultimately, any spousal support dispute is likely to be a heated legal dispute that involves many variables and personal issues between the spouses. It’s essential to be as objective as possible in this situation, but this proves to be very difficult for some divorcing spouses. Your Rancho Cucamonga spousal support lawyer can provide peace of mind and clarify any legal issues that you do not fully understand as your case unfolds. They can ultimately serve as a check to ensure your spousal support determination is fair, reasonable, and in alignment with the family law statutes of California.
All American Law knows that every divorce case is unique, and everyone who endures this process will face different challenges. Spousal support determination can easily lead to emotionally stressful court proceedings, and it’s best to approach these situations with legal counsel you can trust. If you are ready to discuss your spousal support determination or a larger divorce case with an experienced team of Rancho Cucamonga spousal support lawyers, contact All American Law today and schedule your consultation with our team.