Los Angeles Spousal Support Lawyer2024-05-09T13:46:36+00:00

Divorce can be complex and emotionally charged. It is a process often accompanied by a number of legal considerations. There are several issues that can ultimately be wrapped up in a divorce. One of these considerations, spousal support, also known as alimony, stands out as a pivotal part of many divorce cases. In this case, having a Los Angeles spousal support lawyer on your side is crucial.

Choosing a Law Firm That You Can Trust

At The Dorie A. Rogers, APC, we understand the intricate nature of the legal system and are committed to helping our clients navigate it with clarity and confidence.

We recognize that spousal support cases can be confusing and emotionally charged. Because of that, we have a compassionate approach to addressing our clients’ spousal support case needs. With our extensive knowledge and dedication to client advocacy, we are committed to helping our clients navigate the complexities of spousal support with integrity and professionalism.

We can help you with guidance on initiating a spousal support claim, modifying an existing support arrangement, or defending against unwarranted support demands. Our team of skilled family law attorneys is here to provide the knowledgeable representation and personalized attention you deserve.

What Is Spousal Support?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is the financial assistance given to one spouse by the other during or after divorce proceedings. The purpose of spousal support is to provide both parties with a standard of living similar to what was sustained during the marriage, particularly in circumstances where one party may have significantly lower earning capacity or financial resources than the other.

The amount and duration of spousal support payments are generally determined by the court based on factors such as the time span of the marriage, the income and potential earning capacity of both spouses, and the standard of living that was created during the marriage.

It’s important to note that alimony can be modified or terminated if new circumstances arise after the divorce, such as a change in one spouse’s income or through the occurrence of specific events stated in the divorce decree.

Types of Spousal Support

In California, spousal support can take various forms, depending on the circumstances of the marriage and each party’s needs:

  • Temporary Spousal Support: A couple does not have to wait for a divorce in order to begin making spousal support decisions. This type of support is awarded during the divorce process. It provides immediate financial assistance to the supported spouse until a final settlement is reached. Temporary spousal support typically begins once the couple has legally separated.
    It is recommended to have this agreement in writing and signed by both spouses. If both parties cannot agree on a temporary support amount, they can both argue their sides in court. However, if one spouse is entitled to spousal support, they can receive it as soon as the couple separates, so it is recommended to begin court proceedings right away if you need the assistance of the court to reach a spousal support amount.
  • Rehabilitative Spousal Support: Rehabilitative support is a type of short-term support. It is aimed at helping the supported spouse become self-supporting within a specified period. This may involve funding education or training programs to enhance their earning capacity. Generally speaking, this form of support does not end on a specific date, but rather when the receiving spouse completes training and/or gains employment.
    The receiving spouse is responsible for pursuing the necessary training for employment. If the spouse paying the support believes that the receiving spouse isn’t working towards employment, they can petition the court to either decrease the amount of spousal support or implement a termination date.
  • Permanent Spousal Support: In some cases where one spouse is unable to achieve self-sufficiency, permanent spousal support may be awarded. This type of support continues until the death of either party or remarriage of the supported spouse.
    Permanent spousal support would be deemed appropriate in certain situations, such as in long-term marriages lasting ten years or more, where one spouse has sacrificed career opportunities or their earning potential for the sake of the marriage, instances where the spouse has a disability or illness, or if one or both spouses are approaching retirement age and have limited opportunities to re-enter the workforce.
  • Lump-Sum Spousal Support: Lump-sum support involves a one-time payment or a series of payments rather than ongoing monthly support. It may be preferred in situations where the paying spouse has significant assets or wishes to finalize financial obligations quickly.
  • Reimbursement Support: This form of support is used when one spouse has sacrificed their education, career, or any other related venture for the sake of the marriage. Reimbursement support is meant to reimburse them for this sacrifice and is, therefore, not based on financial need.
    Usually, the receiving spouse accepted any employment, even if in an undesired field, to support the family while the other spouse trained for a more financially beneficial career. The common agreement would be that both spouses would benefit from the higher earning job once the other spouse completed training and gained employment, allowing the earning spouse to pursue their own career goals.
    Reimbursement support is meant to offset the benefits that the receiving spouse did not receive due to the marriage ending before they were able to do so.

Determining Spousal Support

The determination of spousal support in Los Angeles is multilayered and takes into account various factors, including but not limited to:

  • Duration of Marriage: The length of the marriage often influences the duration and amount of spousal support. Generally, longer marriages may warrant more substantial support, especially if one spouse has significantly sacrificed career opportunities for the benefit of the marriage.
  • Income Disparities: Disparities in income and earning capacity between spouses are huge determining factors when deciding on the amount and duration of spousal support. The court assesses each spouse’s income, assets, and potential for future earnings to establish a fair support arrangement.
  • Standard of Living: Courts typically aim to maintain the same standard of living established during the marriage in spousal support decisions. The goal is to ensure that the supported spouse can sustain a lifestyle reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage, taking into account factors such as housing, transportation, and other living expenses.
  • Contributions to the Marriage: The contributions of each spouse to the marriage, both financial and non-financial, are carefully evaluated in spousal support proceedings. This includes considerations such as work done in the home, child-rearing, and support for the other spouse’s career or educational endeavors.
  • Health and Age: The health and age of each spouse may also influence spousal support amounts and durations. Factors such as health issues that affect earning capacity, approaching retirement age, or the ability to secure employment may lead to increased support amounts.
  • Marital Misconduct: While California is a no-fault divorce state, misconduct or egregious behavior during the marriage may still impact spousal support decisions. However, it’s crucial to note that even in these instances, these behaviors are not as important as ensuring financial fairness and stability for both parties in the eyes of the court.

Spousal Support Attorney FAQs

Q: What Disqualifies You From Spousal Support in California?

A: A few factors could disqualify a person from spousal support in California. These include a spouse having enough financial independence where support is not necessary, the spouse getting remarried or cohabiting in a new domestic partnership, or the division of marital property being sufficient for them to live off of. At times, egregious behavior, such as violence or criminal behavior, may potentially disqualify someone from spousal support.

Q: What Is the Average Spousal Support in California?

A: There is no accurate average spousal support in California, as each case is unique. Spousal support is determined based on several factors, including the income of the spouses, the length of time they have been married, and the health and age of the spouses. Spousal support amounts vary based on these factors.

Q: How Do I Fight Spousal Support in California?

A: If you believe that your spousal support determination is unfair in California, there are a number of ways you can fight it. You can do this by gathering evidence to support your argument, such as relevant documentation showing that either you can support yourself or that your ex-spouse has financial independence. After gathering the evidence, you will want to negotiate terms, seek legal representation, and present your case to the court.

Q: What is the 10-Year Rule for Divorce in California?

A: In California, there is no official 10-year rule. However, there is some validity to this myth. Once a marriage has been established for about ten years, it is typically considered a long-term marriage by the courts. In long-term marriages, courts are usually more inclined to award long-term or permanent spousal support in the event of divorce.

Contact The Dorie A. Rogers, APC Today

At The Dorie A. Rogers, APC, we are committed to helping you achieve fair and equitable spousal support outcomes while advocating for your interests every step of the way. If you need assistance with a spousal support matter, contact us for more information.

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