If you’re facing a divorce in California, you may be wondering how alimony—also known as spousal support—will affect you. Whether you are expecting payments or must pay alimony to your spouse, it’s essential to understand what spousal support is, how it’s calculated, and who pays.
Read on as our team of California divorce law practitioners at Anthoor Law Group provides insights on questions you may have about alimony to help clarify what spousal support is and eliminate misconceptions about this legal concept and process.
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 that one spouse makes to the other. Depending on the specific circumstances, payments may last forever, a few years, or just through the divorce process.
A judge may also decide neither spouse will get spousal support. In a final ruling, neither of the divorcing partners may return to court later to request spousal support.
Many people harbor misconceptions about alimony that we would like to clear up.
Firstly, 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 independently of whether or not the couple has any 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.
Many states, including California, have three types of spousal support:
If you’re paying alimony or believe you deserve spousal support, seek legal advice from divorce attorneys.
A judge will consider several factors in determining whether spousal support is appropriate for your case and, if it is, how much the payments should be. Considerations may include:
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.
Rather than periodic alimony payments, a judge may decide to require one sizable payment made from one spouse or the other. This large payment, often called “maintenance,” serves much the same purpose as alimony. This payment does not count toward the receiving spouse’s assets.
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.
At Anthoor Law Group, we are a family law practice in Fremont, CA. 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. We’ll do whatever it takes to help you.
You might decide to work with an Anthoor Law Group divorce lawyer if:
If you are searching for a divorce lawyer, call one of our Anthoor Law Group alimony attorneys today at (510) 794-2887 in Fremont, California, to set up an initial consultation.
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