You and your spouse both play an important role in your marriage. You both make contributions and sacrifices for the sake of your family. When your relationship appears headed to divorce, you may have questions about how you can continue to make ends meet after going from two incomes down to one.
At TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD LLP, our Los Angeles spousal support attorneys help individuals going through a divorce address issues of spousal support (sometimes called alimony or maintenance). Whether your individual goal involves receiving a spousal support award or defending against a potential support request, our Los Angeles divorce team can help you prepare a solid case that advances your interests.
In California, many different factors determine if support will be granted in a particular case. Although the spousal duty to provide spousal support ends upon divorce, the courts have recognized that a continued duty to provide post-divorce financial support to a former spouse is necessary if they lack the financial means of living at the marital standard of living after separating.
The factors courts must consider when determining spousal support issues include:
- The length of the marriage
- The earning potential of each spouse
- The age of the parties and the ability to work
- The career opportunities turned down for the sake of the marriage
- Any education or training necessary for one spouse to be able to re-enter the workforce
The amount and duration of the support are left to the court's discretion as well. This makes it extremely important to have an attorney who understands the spousal support laws on your side to ensure that you are making a compelling argument to the court that demonstrates why your specific requests should be approved.
Our Los Angeles spousal support lawyers have handled a number of these cases on each side of the issue, and have worked with financial experts who know how to get a complete picture of a couple's assets and debts. We have a comprehensive strategy in place from the beginning of your divorce that takes support into consideration, so you can get the help you need, no matter which objective you are pursuing.
How Long Do You Have To Pay Spousal Support in California?
The amount of time you’re required to pay spousal support in California depends on the type of alimony award: temporary or permanent.
- Temporary alimony - Helps the supported spouse meet expenses during the divorce and ends when permanent alimony is awarded.
- Permanent alimony - Regular payments that help put the supported spouse near the marital standard of living after the divorce. However, permanent alimony doesn’t necessarily last forever.
- For marriages under ten years, permanent alimony will last no longer than half the length of the marriage.
- For marriages that lasted longer than ten years, the judge will consider various factors to determine how long alimony will be required until that spouse becomes self-supporting.
What Happens if You Don't Pay Spousal Support in California?
If you refuse to pay alimony in California, the legal consequences include: wage garnishment, which means a percentage of your income is automatically diverted to your spouse; the court may intercept your tax refunds; you may be held in contempt of court or be required to serve jail time.
Find Out What Our Los Angeles Spousal Support Lawyers Can Do to Help You
Are you looking for an experienced attorney to help you resolve a significant dispute concerning spousal support? If so, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced Los Angeles spousal support lawyer from TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD LLP. Backed by ten decades of combined legal experience, our legal team is committed to guiding you through challenging issues such as those related to spousal support upon divorce.