How are alimony payments determined in California?
In the dissolution of marriages, many California couples find themselves confronted with a list of difficult decisions. From dividing properties to deciding on a custody arrangement for children, there may be a number of potential challenges presented. For some couples, it may be preferable to work out these family law issues through mediation and a settlement. In other cases, it is necessary to go to a trial in order to secure the terms of a divorce.
When it comes to spousal support, specifically, battles between estranged spouses can become especially heated. One spouse may feel as if he or she deserves more than the other is willing to give. In some cases, couples can work together and negotiate these amounts. In other cases, it may be necessary to leave it up to a judge.
There are many issues that a judge may consider before determining the amount of alimony is owed, if any. He or she will likely consider how long a marriage lasted and what each person’s financial needs are based on the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage, among many other factors.
In many cases, couples draw up a prenuptial agreement before getting married that can limit spousal support payments in the event that a marriage ends. This could be especially beneficial for couples who bring significantly different levels of assets to the marriage. Without a prenup, the higher earner could be ordered to make larger alimony payments than if there was a prenup in place.
Back in January, famous actress Mena Suvari filed for divorce from her husband of 18 months. According to sources, she wanted to deny spousal support payments to her ex. However, it was just reported that her ex is now seeking an astonishing $17,000 per month in alimony from his famous ex. He says he got accustomed to a higher standard of living during his marriage, despite reports of several failed business ventures on his part.
In this case, it will now be up to a judge to determine what amount of alimony is appropriate. For other couples in this situation, it may be a good idea to work towards a settlement with mediation and negotiation. Either way, legal representation is likely needed in order to protect each person’s best interests in the divorce.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Mena Suvari Divorce: Ex Requests $17,000 A Month In Spousal Support,” May 14, 2012