Divorce can sometimes be a challenging and emotionally-trying experience in a person’s life. It’s a complex process that leads to several life-altering decisions which must be made with clarity. Spouses who seek to leave a marriage are often ordered to support one another financially after divorce is finalized. When resolving the issue of spousal support, it’s important to work with an attorney who can protect your interests and secure the support you need or ensure the fairness of your court-ordered payments.
Spousal support or alimony is a court-ordered payment that one spouse makes to another after divorce or separation. Generally, the higher-earning spouse must pay the lower-earning spouse alimony for a fixed period or on a more permanent basis depending upon the circumstances. There are typically two types of alimony arrangements in California that your Riverside spousal support lawyer can help you navigate.
Types of Alimony or Spousal Support Available in California
Temporary Spousal Support
Temporary spousal support is the only type of spousal support provided to a spouse before a divorce is finalized. This type of support may include payment for expenses and more until the court decides an appropriate plan for post-divorce spousal support. The court may also award temporary spousal support to separated spouses.
Permanent Spousal Support
When people think about alimony, they usually envision permanent spousal support. After divorce, the court may order one spouse to pay the other spouse permanent support on a recurring basis until further court order or until the receiving spouse remarries or cohabitates with a new partner.
Things to Know About Spousal Support
Many factors can affect whether an ex-spouse will continue to receive spousal support after a certain time frame, and if so, how much spousal support. Among them are:
- If the receiving spouse remarries, support terminates. Cohabitation can be used to modify or eliminate support payments.
- If the paying spouse’s income decreases, he or she may seek a modification of spousal support. On the flip side, if the paying spouse gets a raise, it may not lead to larger support payments.
- If the receiving spouse’s income increases significantly, proof of such can be used to reduce spousal support.
- The court may order a vocational assessment for a receiving spouse who intentionally avoids working, which can lead to reduced spousal support payments.
- A documented spousal abuse history can affect spousal support payments.
Spousal support is supposed to allow the receiving ex-spouse to become self-supporting and generally should not be a lifelong arrangement, although there are special circumstances that may call for permanent support. If you seek to resolve issues of spousal support, you should know that the length of support payments will usually be one-half the length of a marriage, except in marriages that lasted ten or more years.
Are You Paying Too Much Alimony?
Many people who make spousal support payments feel that they are paying too much. If you believe that you may be paying excessive spousal support, you can work with a Riverside family lawyer to review your payments and ask for a modification. Contact Bratton Razo & Lord Family Law to see how we can help.
Are You Receiving Too Little Alimony?
It is not uncommon for spouses receiving spousal support to feel that they may not be receiving all that they deserve. Our Riverside divorce lawyers can investigate the financial situation of your ex-spouse to determine whether or not you may be awarded an increased spousal support payment. You deserve just representation from experienced attorneys. Bratton Razo & Lord Family Law seeks to deliver.
Contact us for a free consultation or call (951) 684-9000 for more information.