Many factors go into the determination of permanent spousal support payments in the state of California. Courts have almost total say in the decision of setting spousal support. An attorney is usually required for individuals who are having trouble resolving the issue of alimony. Your attorney will look at and gather evidence for various factors.
Alimony laws affect nearly every divorce, whether the couple was married for a long time or a short period, whether they have great or modest wealth. These monthly payments are meant to help maintain the standard of living of the lesser earning spouse during a divorce proceeding (temporary) or after a divorce is finalized (permanent).
Alimony in California is decided by a court and is determined after considering multiple factors. These factors include health concerns, such the age and physical health of the spouses. Spouses in poor or failing health may be considered unable to properly hold down a job, in turn being unable to support themselves. The couple’s financial situation and their earning potentials are taken into account also, as well as the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
California’s Family Code Section 4336 states that a court does not automatically relinquish jurisdiction after ending a long-term marriage. This means the court can make amends to its orders over an undefined period of time. The 10-year rule in California states that a marriage that lasted 10 or more years is considered a long-term marriage. Marriages that did not last 10 years can sometimes still qualify as a marriage of long duration. This is negotiated in court, and it affects the amount of alimony awarded.
Along with other factors, the length of the marriage is considered when deciding alimony payments. Courts typically determine the length of alimony payments to equal approximately one half the duration of the marriage. This rule of thumb does not apply for long-term marriages. The point of this is to allow the payee to be supported until they are able to support themselves. Duration of alimony payments is more difficult to determine for long duration marriages. The courts decide case by case what amount of time is sufficient for the lesser earning spouse to learn to be on their own. If it is decided that an individual is never going to be suitable to maintain themselves, they are awarded permanent alimony.
Spousal support can be much harder to enforce than other forms of support payments. In cases of not paying child support, wages can be garnished and liens can be placed to make sure the payments are made. In order to ensure alimony payments are made, the spouse must be taken to court through a contempt proceeding to force payment.
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