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Are You Entitled to Spousal Support in Your California Divorce?

Posted on in Spousal Support

California divorce lawyer, California mediation attorneyThere are certain situations under California law where one spouse may be entitled to receive spousal support from the other spouse after a divorce. The point of spousal support – also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance – is to provide income for a spouse who either does not work or was earning a much lower wage than the other spouse, such as where one spouse gave up their career to be a stay-at-home parent and raise the children.

Another purpose of alimony is to assist the lower-earning spouse in maintaining the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage until they are in a better financial position. In order to determine if support is warranted, the court will look at several different factors. The first factor is the gross income of the marriage. Under the California Family Code, income can include:

  • Wages;
  • Salary;
  • Bonuses;
  • Commissions;
  • Dividends;
  • Royalties; and
  • Trust income.

Once the income of each spouse is determined, those figures are entered into an alimony calculator. The calculator also requires input of the length of the marriage. Under the law, if a couple has been married for less than 10 years, support will not be ordered for any longer than half the amount of years the couple were married. For marriages over 10 years, the amount of time spousal support may be an extended period, if not indefinite.

In addition to the present and future earning capacity of each party, other factors the court will look at to determine how much and how long alimony should be paid are:

  • The contribution each party made to the marriage;
  • The responsibilities and roles each spouse had in the marriage;
  • The ability the “paying” spouse has to make spousal support payments;
  • The age and health of each spouse;
  • What is the level of hardship the divorce will have on each spouse;
  • What, if any, tax consequences are there for either spouse; and
  • Is there any domestic violence history in the marriage?

Although it may be surprising to hear, there are some people who, although they qualify for spousal support, may reject it. They may feel they just want to sever all ties with their former spouse and alimony would not allow them to do that.

Whatever your situation is, if you are considering a divorce, it is important to consult with a skilled San Jose divorce attorney to find out what all your legal options may be. Call the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca today for your initial consultation at 408-395-8822.

 

Sources:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=FAM&division=9.&title=&part=1.&chapter=3.&article=3.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caroline-choi/divorce-confidential-alim_b_8557042.html

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