Spousal Support Does Not Follow A Formula
It Is Important To Work With A Lawyer Who Will Protect Your Interests
Permanent spousal support, also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance, is not automatic, nor is it dictated by a formula. It is awarded at the discretion of the court in light of specific legal criteria set forth in the Family Code or by agreement of the divorcing parties.
Will there be spousal support in your California divorce? How much will it be and how long will it last? A Hermosa Beach spousal support lawyer can give you an analysis of how a judge could rule based on the facts of your case. At the Law Offices of Thomas M. Polinger, we have more than 35 years of experience in these family law matters. We will explain how spousal support figures into the big picture of your divorce settlement, including tax implications.
Understanding Spousal Support In California
Upon a formal separation or filing for divorce, a judge may award temporary spousal support if one party is at an economic disadvantage. The purpose is to maintain the status quo of the parties until final judgment, which might be a year or more in the future.
Once the divorce is final, the court may award permanent spousal support. The purpose is to assist the recipient spouse in becoming self-supporting, and to maintain the standard of living. Generally, spousal support is taxable to the recipient and deductible to the payor.
As a rule of thumb, the duration of permanent support is half the length of the marriage, unless the court determines that the marriage is of lengthy duration. Lengthy duration is defined as 10 or more years. In these cases, spousal support may be permanent and awarded until death, remarriage or upon further order of the court.
Determining The Amount Of Spousal Support
Temporary support is sometimes awarded by formula, but permanent support is determined by a list of factors, including age or disability, current income, education and marketable skills, earnings history and the accustomed standard of living. In general, the greater the disparity in income or earning capacity, the higher the amount of support.
There may be reasons to modify spousal support payments. For example, if an ex-spouse is living with a new partner but not remarried, there is a presumption of decreased need for spousal support. The burden is on the recipient to prove that financial support is still necessary. We can assist with modification or enforcement of spousal support.