Spousal Support After Divorce In California

Spousal support, also known as alimony, comes in different forms (Temporary Spousal Support and Permanent Spousal Support) and can be ordered for different reasons under the California Family Code. Whether you are seeking support, or potentially paying spousal support, it is important to know your rights under the law. An experienced Solana Beach spousal support lawyer can help you navigate this often complex topic.

Immediate issues in most cases focus on how much support will be paid to a non-working spouse. Income will not be imputed to the non-working spouse at the Temporary Spousal Support hearing. Income may be imputed to the non-working spouse at the Permanent Spousal Support hearing. This process is complicated and requires expert testimony. You need an experienced Solana Beach spousal support attorney to help you with this process and we handle such matters on a regular basis. We are also experience in negotiating settlements that meet the needs of all parties: allowing the non-working spouse to either not work or work part time.

At Ratzer|Dobis in Solana Beach, we can help you through the alimony process. An experienced lawyer from our firm will review your case to determine how much alimony should be and how long it should last. We fight for our clients to get the best possible outcome for their situation through Solana Beach mediation and, if necessary, litigation. We will use our experience to deliver quick results so you can move on with your life with confidence and security.

How Is Alimony Determined?

In California, multiple factors are taken into consideration when determining spousal support. Does the spouse have the ability to support herself or himself? What are each of the spouses earning abilities and what was each spouse’s standard of living during the marriage? These factors are all considered along with the age and health of each spouse and the length of the marriage.

For spouses who are seeking support, and those who may have to pay it, understanding your rights is critical. An experienced family law attorney at Ratzer|Dobis will review the circumstances of your marriage to see if alimony is appropriate in your case. We will pursue the strategy that is best for you.

What Are the Different Types of Alimony?

When many people hear the term “alimony,” they think of situations in which payments are made permanently from one spouse to the other. However, there are various types of alimony that could be awarded in California. This could include:

  • Temporary Alimony, which may be ordered paid to one spouse only while the divorce is ongoing. This type of alimony could stop when the divorce is finalized, or it could be transitioned into another type of alimony.
  • Permanent Alimony payments are made long-term to the spouse of lesser means. These payments are typically ordered for marriages that were longer in duration and when the spouse of lesser means may not have an opportunity to become self-sustaining (due to age, disability, etc.). Permanent alimony payments are typically made monthly over extended periods of time. They typically do not end unless one spouse does or unless the receiving spouse remarries.

Can You Make Modifications to Alimony in San Diego?

There may be various reasons why spousal modifications are necessary to monthly alimony payments. The lives of both spouses will undoubtedly change in the aftermath of a divorce. Various reasons why a modification may be necessary can include:

  • the paying spouse loses a job or is demoted and can no longer afford the payments.
  • the paying spouse receives a pay raise, and the receiving spouse wishes to receive more.
  • the receiving spouse becomes self-sustaining.
  • the receiving spouse enters into a relationship with another person who provides support.
  • What if one spouse stops paying alimony?

Spousal maintenance payments are court orders. The paying spouse cannot simply decide to stop making payments, even if they believe that they should not be paying them anymore. Without a modification from the California court system, failing to pay spousal maintenance could result in legal trouble. If your former spouse stops making court-ordered alimony payments, you need to take them to court for a contempt proceeding.

A spouse who fails to pay the required alimony could result and their wages being garnished and given to the receiving spouse through the court system. The court can also levy the paying spouse’s bank accounts or intercept their tax returns in order to get the required payment amounts.

What If Your Former Spouse Is Living With Another Person?

Typically, permanent alimony ends if the receiving spouse remarries. However, there are times when a receiving spouse may move in with somebody else but not get married in order to avoid alimony payments being ended. In cases where the paying spouse believes that the receiving spouse is in a relationship with somebody else but is avoiding marriage, they will need to file a motion with the courts to have payments modified or stopped. The court will consider the receiving spouse’s current financial circumstances when determining whether or not to end alimony payments. In these cases, it can be difficult to prove that the receiving spouse is in a romantic relationship with the person they are cohabiting with.

What You Can Do Now

Contact the knowledgeable legal team at Ratzer|Dobis for help with your spousal support case. We are experienced negotiators who will fight for your rights. Please give us a call at (858) 793-7700 to schedule a consultation with one of our Solana Beach spousal support lawyers. We proudly serve clients throughout San Diego County and beyond.


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