Spousal Support Attorneys
During a marriage, it’s not uncommon for spouses to lean on each other for financial support. This complicates matters when the marriage ends. If there’s a significant income disparity, it’s possible that the court will award spousal support to the lower-earning partner. This gives them the chance to advance their education or professional skills in a way that allows them to become self-sufficient. With living expenses as high as they are in Palm Desert, La Quinta, and other nearby communities, it’s no surprise that a divorcing spouse may need some assistance to become independent.
If you earn far less than your spouse or you largely support your spouse through your income, spousal support may very well be a factor in your divorce. Call the team of Coachella Valley divorce lawyers at Castillo & Associates now to set up a consultation and discuss your options. You can reach us at 800-497-9774.
Temporary and Permanent Support
During the divorce process, temporary support may be awarded. This provides the lower-earning party with what they need to survive as the final order is negotiated and drafted. While the temporary order may be a starting point for the final order, that isn’t always the case.
Permanent support refers to the alimony paid after the divorce is finalized. Though termed “permanent,” that doesn’t mean it will necessarily last for the rest of the receiver’s life. If. A marriage lasts less than ten years, spousal support generally does not last any longer than one-half the length of the marriage. When it comes to longer marriages, the court has a lot of discretion in terms of how long alimony is paid. Although the state of California is legally permitted to order permanent support, a lot of factors go into determining the duration of support payments.
When Is Spousal Support Ordered?
Spousal support is ordered in several different situations. First, it may be necessary if both spouses work but one spouse’s income is significantly higher than the other’s. In this scenario, support may be awarded to bridge the gap between the lower-earning partner’s income and their standard of living. Second, it is often awarded if one partner passed up a career in order to be a homemaker or stay-at-home parent.
Factors Affecting Spousal Support
The court considers a wide variety of factors when determining spousal support payments, in accordance with California Family Code 4320. These factors include:
- The higher-earning party’s ability to pay
- Any contributions made to the payer’s education and career by the recipient
- The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
- The need to maintain that standard of living
- How much separate property is owned by each party
- How spousal support payments would affect dependent children
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Domestic violence
- Tax implications
- Hardships on either party’s side
- The goal for the recipient to become self-sustaining
Modifying a Spousal Support Order
After an initial spousal support order, there are circumstances that warrant a modification. If the receiving spouse builds their career to the point that they can provide for themselves, the other party may be able to request a termination of support payments. They may also request a decrease in payments if their income drops substantially or their expenses increase. If the party receiving alimony remarries or begins living with a romantic partner, the paying party may also seek a modification.
Why You Need an Attorney
Whether you expect to pay or receive spousal support, it’s important to work with a Palm Springs spousal support attorney. The agreement you make with your spouse will have a significant impact on your financial wellbeing for years to come. Furthermore, even though alimony is not taxable or tax-deductible on a federal level, it is in California. Your spousal support order will have tax implications for you, and you need to know exactly what you’re agreeing to before you sign anything.
You’ll also want to ensure that your divorce agreement protects you. Your attorney can explain the potential outcomes of different agreements to you and advocate for you during negotiations. The decisions made during these negotiations will determine your financial standing as you start the next chapter of your life.
Explore Your Legal Options With Castillo & Associates
Serving the communities of Indio, Indian Wells, and other cities in Coachella Valley, the team at Castillo & Associates is ready to guide you through spousal support negotiations. Set up a consultation now by contacting us online or calling us at 800-497-9774.