Spousal Support Orders during and after Divorce
Beverly Hills Divorce Lawyer Pursues Correct Spousal Support Orders
Spousal Support is different than child support and is designed to maintain the financial equilibrium between spouses during and after a divorce, by helping the lower-wage-earning-spouse or non-wage-earning-spouse. It is imperative to accurately document income, investigate assets and prepare to present evidence, if necessary, to the Court to ensure the Spousal Support orders if made or negotiated are correct.
Types of Spousal Support Payments
A couple or the court can determine which types of support one spouse will receive in a negotiated agreement or by order of the court. A spouse can receive different types of Spousal Support during and after the divorce for varying amounts and for different periods of time. The five types of spousal support allowed in California divorces are as follows:
- Temporary Spousal Support: This type of Spousal Support is awarded to a spouse while the divorce proceedings are ongoing and the couple is separated. Temporary Spousal Support typically ends when the divorce is finalized, but another type of Spousal Support can kick in once the settlement is final. This type of spousal support is meant to cover daily expenses and the costs of hiring an attorney.
- Rehabilitative Spousal Support: Rehabilitative Spousal Support provides spousal support for a specific duration of time after the divorce is finalized and can either be a set time period or ends on a triggering event. This type of Spousal Support payment is meant to provide support to the lesser-earning spouse so that he or she can become self-sufficient through the acquisition of job skills, training, or education. Rehabilitative Spousal Support is typically awarded when one spouse made sacrifices in his or her own career to support the higher-earning spouse or to raise the family.
- Reimbursement Spousal Support: This type of spousal support is a fairly unique type of Spousal Support that is meant to reimburse one spouse for the monetary contributions and other sacrifices made to advance the other spouse’s career or education. Reimbursement Spousal Support is also awarded if one spouse supported the family while the other received an education or work training. California is one of the few states that offers this type of Spousal Support payment after a divorce.
- Lump Sum Spousal Support: Lump sum Spousal Support occurs when the higher earning spouse makes a one time, lump sum payment in spousal support to the lesser earning spouse, as opposed to monthly payments. This type of Spousal Support is typically appropriate when the recipient spouse does not take much in terms of community property and the higher earning spouse is paying for that share of the property.
- Permanent Spousal Support: Permanent Spousal Support consists of support payments made with no definite termination, either for life or indefinitely. These payments are made regularly and are typically ordered when the receiving spouse is elderly, suffering significant health issues, is caring for a disabled child, or other circumstances that would not allow the spouse to re-enter the workforce.
Spousal Support— What Factors Make a Difference to a Court
The law in California regarding spousal support takes into consideration different factors, codified by law. The Court receives detailed information to make a determination of the amount and duration of Spousal Support, if it is ordered. California Family Code 4320 delineates the factors as follows:
- The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account all of the following
- The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment.
- The extent to which the supported party's present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties.
- The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party.
- The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living.
- The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage.
- The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party.
- The age and health of the parties.
- Documented evidence, including a plea of nolo contendere, of any history of domestic violence
- The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party.
- The balance of the hardships to each party.
- The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time
Depending on these factors, the amount of Spousal Support ordered by a Court will vary. In general, Spousal Support will last half the length of marriage for marriages under 10 years. For marriages 10 years in length or longer, they are considered "long term Marriages" under California Family law and the Support Order by the Court will likely not have a defined end date. Please contact us to discuss your options for obtaining a correct Spousal Support Order during or after your marital dissolution case.
I am divorce lawyer Bradley S. Sandler, and I have ample experience bringing legal action for the purpose of obtaining a fair Spousal Support court order. I can also help if you are paying spousal support and have reason to believe your ex-spouse is no longer eligible because of remarriage, cohabitation or any other reason.
Call to learn about Temporary versus Permanent Spousal Support Orders
In any such Family judgment matter, I can help bring fast relief and enforcement of judgments through proper legal channels. Call 310-246-3900 or send an email to Bradley@sandlerlawfirm.com for a prompt response.