One of the most significant issues in every California divorce is whether to award alimony from the higher earning spouse to the lesser earning spouse during and after divorce proceedings. The determination of alimony can have substantial impact on your overall divorce settlement, and federal tax changes in recent years have complicated this matter even further. If a couple cannot agree to the terms of spousal support on their own, the court may step in and make the determination on their behalf.
At the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler, our divorce attorney is here to assist with all your legal issues, including advising on matters of alimony payments. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation at our Beverly Hills office.
The Purpose of Alimony
The court recognizes that not all couples earn equal incomes, and that one spouse may contribute to the household during the course of the marriage in ways other than earning money. When a marriage ends, the spouse who earns a higher income may need to help support the spouse who earns less or no income during the transition period and afterward while they learn to become financially independent. California law provides for multiple types of alimony of various amounts and durations to better fit the specific circumstances of each divorce case.
Factors Considered in Alimony Decisions
Typically, the judge in a divorce case will encourage the couple to agree to terms of spousal support on their own. However, if they cannot settle on the issue of alimony the court can step in and make that determination for the case. California law provides the court with a list of factors to weigh in each case when determining whether spousal support is appropriate in each case, and if so, how much. The factors for determining alimony include the following:
- Each spouse’s ability to maintain their standard of living once divorced, based on their respective current incomes
- Whether a spouse is requesting support due to their contribution to the other spouse’s attainment of a college degree, professional license, or some other career or position of high earnings
- The ability for the supporting spouse to pay alimony, considering how much they earn and their cost of living
- Each spouse’s needs, based on the lifestyle lived during the marriage
- The debts and assets of each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- The ability of the spouse requesting support to earn a living, without it impacting their role as the primary caregiver of the couple’s children
- The age and health of the spouses
- Any history of domestic violence
- Tax implications
- Any known hardships of either spouse
- The ability of the supported spouse to become self-sufficient within a reasonable period of time, and
- Any other factors the courts deem relevant
To Learn More, Contact Our Office
Do you have concerns about alimony in your California divorce or want to learn more about your legal options? Call or contact us in Beverly Hills at the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler today to speak with our knowledgeable California divorce lawyer and schedule a consultation for your case.