Orange County Spousal Support Attorney
With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our team is highly qualified to provide legal services for your most difficult family circumstances.
Orange County Spousal Support Lawyers
Divorce or legal separation brings about a lot of changes to the members of a marriage. Between splitting property and assets, child custody, and child support, there is likely a lot on your mind when divorce is on the table. One thing that can and should be at the forefront of your list of considerations is spousal support. Not all divorces warrant spousal support agreements, but many do. No matter the circumstances of your marriage or separation, it is vital that you know about spousal support and understand how it may be used as a tool to help support your changing family structure.
What Is Spousal Support?
When Is Spousal Support Appropriate?
What Is a Fair Spousal Support Amount?
- The health status and age of both people. If one or both people reach an age where training for and earning a new job is unlikely, the courts could see a reason to require alimony.
- The length of time that the two people were married (or in a domestic partnership). The marriage length will generally affect how long alimony is to be paid to the dependent party.
- The needs of both parties are based on the lifestyle they adopted during the marriage. This is commonly referred to as the “standard of living.”
- Whether either party’s employment status was affected by the marriage. For example, if one parent has stayed home with children for 18 years while the other spouse went to work, it may be difficult for the stay-at-home parent to find a job with an 18-year gap in their job experience.
- If both parties are employable, the courts will assess if having both parents work will make it difficult to take care of children. Just because one party’s resume is still appealing does not mean that it is feasible for them to go out and work. This is especially true if the couple began their family with the understanding that one parent would stay home and care for children.
- Debts, property, spousal support, and tax and educational support given from one spouse to another will also be considered, if applicable.
How Long Is a Spouse Entitled to Spousal Support?
Long-Term Marriage Payments
Termination of Spousal Support Agreements
- The supported spouse passes away.
- The supported spouse remarries or enters into a new domestic partnership, and therefore can rely upon their new partner for support.
Changes to Spousal Support Agreements
- The supported spouse has moved in with a significant other.
- The supported spouse has had a significant increase in income or has found a job that can support their lifestyle.
- If a supported spouse remarries and the remarriage is later annulled, it is possible to file a motion to restart payments from the original spousal support agreement.
- The paying spouse retires, whether at the state-sanctioned age of 65 or an employer-mandated earlier age.
Fault for Divorce
The Impact of Spousal Support
Though the percentage of couples who have a spousal support agreement after a divorce is fairly low, it is important to understand the impact that alimony can have on the paying spouse’s financial situation. Though divorce is often costly, alimony is the most expensive part of a divorce and can equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars over a few short years. Payments can be several thousand dollars per month, making them a significant financial burden to most payers. Despite this, they are designed to protect lower-earning spouses so they can stay afloat after divorce. They are ultimately a helpful consideration, but they are extremely costly. If alimony is on the table, you must find an Orange County spousal support lawyer to help you with the negotiations, to ensure that you are not paying an unfair amount in alimony.
Protections for Payers
- If you receive a raise or pay increase after the divorce, the increase is not factored into your spousal support payments, and you should not have to begin paying more money. An increase in pay post-divorce did not happen within the confines of the marriage and should therefore not affect an ex-spouse.
- Pay decreases can be a reason to pay less or stop payments. If you involuntarily lose your job or begin to make less money, you may be able to file a motion to have your payments reduced or ended.
- If your ex-spouse can work but refuses to look for work, you can have a vocational assessment done. In these cases, the courts will look at your ex-spouse’s credentials and look into if they have been actively searching for work. If not, you may be able to fight to stop or reduce payments.
- You can usually deduct alimony payments from your taxes.
Do I Need an Attorney to Get Spousal Support?
Why DeArmey Law Spousal Support Attorneys?
We have been serving Southern California for over 40 years. We combine our deep understanding of the law with compassion, focus, and motivation to provide our clients with the best legal representation in the area. We understand that legal battles of any kind can be difficult, and that seeking representation can be intimidating. This is why we strive to put you at ease at every turn and keep you up to date every step of the way.
If you think you deserve alimony or have any other concerns or questions about your spousal support agreement, contact DeArmey Law today.