While a divorce is developing or after it concludes, it is not uncommon for a family law judge to order one spouse to pay monthly spousal support to the other. The purpose behind spousal support, spousal maintenance, and alimony is to allow the spouse that made the lesser income of the two to enjoy the same standard of living experienced during the marriage, or something close to it. Even if both spouses agree that spousal support is necessary, it may be difficult for each of them to agree to one number, as it is understandable to feel as if too much or too little is being paid.
Deciding factors the court must consider when awarding spousal support include:
Finding that middle ground can be difficult. Getting legal help can be easy. Call (714) 770-8062 today and speak to our Irvine divorce lawyers at Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC about your spousal support case. We always work to uphold our clients’ best interests while also hopefully avoiding needless conflicts.
As described in California Family Code Sections 4330-4339, there are both short-term spousal support orders and long-term spousal support orders, which correspond to short and long marriages respectively. For a marriage that lasts less than 10 years – a short-term marriage by the court’s standards – any spousal support order will not likely last more than half of the marriage’s duration; special circumstances, such as the receiving spouse suffering a disability, may cause exceptions to this typical rule. If temporary spousal support orders are created before the divorce is finalized, the formula used to calculate them and the resulting sum will be factored into the post-divorce award.
For a marriage that lasts more than 10 years – a long-term marriage – a judge is given the power to decide how long the spousal support order will persist, based on contributing factors like the incomes of both spouses. It is possible for a spousal support order to be “indefinite,” existing as long as the receiving spouse requires the help to make ends meet. California Family Code does, however, state that receiving parties must make an honest effort to become self-sufficient, such as completing higher education courses and attempting to hold onto or find employment, if they are to receive continued spousal support.
Modifications can also be used to alter a spousal support order. How much is paid each month or how long the order persists are the most common changes. The court will not approve a spousal support modification unless a significant change in circumstances has occurred.
Acceptable reasons to seek an alimony or maintenance modification are:
The conditions of your spousal support agreement will heavily influence your financial stability and wellbeing for years to come. Make certain you are paying or receiving a proper amount by teaming up with our Irvine family law attorneys. We look forward to hearing from you – call (714) 770-8062 for a FREE phone consultation or contact us online today.