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Spousal support (alimony) may be a part of your settlement agreement if one spouse made substantially more money than the other during the marriage or if one worked and the other maintained the home and cared for the children. To discuss your concerns about spousal support, please contact BECHTEL DUNTON FAMILY LAW GROUP.
Spousal support amounts are calculated according to guidelines set by state law, using a deceptively simple formula. Figures are entered into a support calculation software program, which calculates the spousal support payment under the guidelines. However, as in all computer programs, the accuracy of the output is only as good as the accuracy of the input. To ensure that the spousal support you pay or receive is fair and accurate, it's important to consult an experienced spousal support lawyer.
Spousal support consists of two types: temporary and permanent. Temporary support can help a divorcing spouse make ends meet while the divorce is pending. The amount is based on county guidelines. The supporting party can be ordered to pay temporary spousal support until the property division becomes final. Then the court will order long term spousal support, if appropriate.
Long Term Support
Long Term support continues after the divorce becomes final. In California, it is governed by state guidelines. According to California family code Section 4320, the court considers 13 factors in determining whether to order spousal support. These include the duration of the marriage; the standard of living established during the marriage; the ability of the supporting party to pay support; the marketable skills of the supported party; the need for retraining or education in order to acquire marketable skills; the contributions the supported party made to the attainment of an education, training, or career position by the supporting party; the age and health of both parties; any history of domestic violence; the tax consequences to each party; and other factors.
Spousal support amounts can be changed to reflect changing circumstances, although they are more difficult to modify than child support payments. If the supporting party has lost a job or the supported party remarries or secures employment, for example, we can petition the court for a modification of spousal support. In order to avoid penalties and/or wage garnishment, it is important that you continue to pay your current level of spousal support until the court officially modifies your agreement.
Bechtel Dunton Family Law Group provides legal services for Divorce, Legal Separation, Spousal Support, Domestic Violence, Child Support, Child Custody, Child Visitation, Modification of Spousal Support or Child Support, Business and Property Division, Post and Prenuptial Agreements, Mediation, and more.
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