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Alimony: What Do I Need To Know Before Divorce?

If you are facing a divorce in California, you may wonder how alimony—also known as spousal support—will affect you. How will your financial situation change? Will money be a problem after your divorce? If these nagging questions keep you up at night, we understand. At Anthoor Law Group, we care. We are invested in getting the best results for our clients.

Whether you expect to receive alimony payments or pay alimony to your spouse, it is vital to understand what defines spousal support, how it is calculated, and who pays. Read on as our California divorce law lawyers provide insights on your alimony questions to clarify the definition of spousal support, eliminate misconceptions about this legal concept and process, and put your mind at ease. Then, reach out to our team at Anthoor Law Group at (510) 794-2887 to schedule an evaluation of your case because experience matters.

Spousal Support Explained by an Alimony Lawyer

Alimony is usually called spousal support in California, but both terms mean the same thing. Spousal support involves court-ordered or agreed-upon financial payments one spouse makes to the other. Depending on specific circumstances, payments may last forever, a few years, or just through a divorce.

A judge may also decide that neither spouse will get spousal support. In a final ruling, neither of the divorcing partners may return to court later to request spousal support.

Misconceptions About Alimony

Many people harbor misconceptions about alimony that we would like to clarify.

First, spousal support is not the same thing as child support. Child support is when one parent, generally the one with the higher income, pays a monthly amount to the divorced parent who has primary child custody to help provide financially for the child.

A judge may award alimony regardless of whether the couple has minor children.

Couples sometimes mistakenly believe the purpose of alimony is to create equal financial means for both parties. In truth, spousal support ensures that both individuals can support themselves financially.

Types of Spousal Support in California

California has two types of spousal support:

  1. Temporary Support: The Court may order one spouse to pay temporary support payments during the divorce if a divorcing spouse cannot support themselves financially throughout the process. This alimony is considered temporary If these payments stop once the divorce is final.
  2. Permanent Support: The third type of spousal support requires permanent alimony payments. These payments only cease if the couple changes the terms of the divorce via a legal proceeding or if the receiving spouse states they no longer need it.

If you pay alimony or believe you deserve spousal support, seek legal advice from divorce attorneys.

Factors in Calculating Alimony

A judge will consider several factors to determine whether spousal support is appropriate for your case and, if so, the payment amount. Considerations may include:

  • The financial situation of each party, including income, assets, and debts
  • The lifestyle of the couple while they were still married and each party’s ability to maintain that standard of living
  • The reduced earning capacity of a spouse who forewent education or employment for many years to manage children or other family matters
  • Sacrifices made by one spouse to support the other’s education or employment goals
  • What each spouse will get in marital property assets
  • How long the couple was married
  • The age and health of both parties
  • Domestic violence situations
  • Other relevant factors

A judge only determines alimony payments when the couple cannot agree, so settling on spousal support terms outside of court is possible during the divorce process. Many couples do this through the mediation process.

Ending Spousal Support

Periodic alimony payments end if the supported spouse remarries to someone else or at the death of one of the parties. One or both parties can also request a modification in spousal support if either party’s financial situation changes significantly after the divorce proceedings.

Contact a California Divorce Attorney for Questions about Spousal Support

Anthoor Law Group is a family law practice in Fremont, California. Contact one of our divorce lawyers if you have questions about alimony or other aspects of divorce law. We can advise or represent you in your divorce. If we have to settle, we will settle. If we have to fight, we don’t hesitate. We will do whatever it takes to help you.

You might decide to work with an Anthoor Law Group divorce lawyer if:

  • You are getting a divorce
  • You are paying alimony, but circumstances have changed
  • You are owed alimony that is not being paid
  • You need legal advice on another family law matter

Our multilingual law firm offers family law and estate planning to a diverse set of clients in Alameda County and the Bay Area. If you are searching for a divorce lawyer, call us at (510) 794-2887, or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.

Copyright© 2022. Anthoor Law Group, A Professional Corporation. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Anthoor Law Group, A Professional Corporation
39210 State Street, Suite 100
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 794-2887

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