Divorce & Spousal Support
First things first: We understand this is a very difficult time for you and your family. We want you to know that we are in your corner and we believe that you deserve what’s right and fair.
Divorce can be complicated, stressful, and ugly. Not to worry – we can handle even the most complex cases. Our areas of specialty include:
- Child Custody: This includes legal custody, decision making authority for the child; and physical custody, where the child spends his or her time.
- Child Support: This is calculated based on a percentage of the physical custody and the respective incomes of the parents. Learn more about child support here.
- Spousal Support: This is calculated from a number of factors and based upon the standard of living during the marriage.
- Division of Assets & Debts: This takes into account Community Property vs Separate Property, credits, and reimbursements.
- Attorney Fees: One party’s need vs the other party’s ability to pay, this is based on a disparity of income.
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a common issue in divorce cases in California. Spousal support is the payment of money from one spouse to another to help support them after the divorce. The purpose of spousal support is to help ensure that both parties can maintain a similar standard of living after the divorce as they did during the marriage. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of spousal support in a California divorce case.
Types of Spousal Support
In California, there are two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent.
Temporary spousal support is paid during the divorce proceedings and is designed to help the supported spouse maintain their standard of living until the divorce is finalized. Temporary support is determined by a formula that takes into account the income of both spouses, the length of the marriage, and other factors.
Permanent spousal support, on the other hand, is paid after the divorce is final and is designed to help the supported spouse maintain their standard of living after the divorce. Permanent support is determined by a judge who takes into account a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, the age and health of both parties, and the earning capacity of both parties.
Factors Considered by the Court
When determining spousal support in California, the court takes into account a variety of factors, including:
- The length of the marriage: In general, the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that the court will award spousal support.
- The standard of living during the marriage: The court will look at the lifestyle of the parties during the marriage and try to maintain that standard of living as much as possible.
- The earning capacity of each spouse: The court will look at the education, training, and work experience of each spouse to determine their earning capacity.
- The age and health of each spouse: The court will consider the age and health of each spouse, as well as any disabilities or medical conditions that may affect their ability to work.
- The needs of each spouse: The court will look at the financial needs of each spouse, including housing, food, and other living expenses.
- The ability of each spouse to pay: The court will look at the income and assets of each spouse to determine their ability to pay spousal support.
Duration of Spousal Support
The duration of spousal support in California depends on the length of the marriage. For marriages that lasted less than 10 years, spousal support is typically paid for half the length of the marriage. For marriages that lasted more than 10 years, spousal support may be paid for an indefinite period of time, although the court may modify or terminate the support if circumstances change.
Tax Implications of Spousal Support
For purposes of federal taxes, generally, spousal support payments are not tax-deductible for the payor and are not taxable as income for the recipient. However, in California, spousal support is deductible for the payor and considered income for the recipient. It is important to get proper tax advice if you are a payor or recipient of spousal support.
Spousal support is a complex issue in California divorce cases. If you are going through a divorce and need help with spousal support, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand your rights and obligations. With the right guidance, you can ensure that your interests are protected and that you receive a fair spousal support arrangement.