If you are in the process of getting divorced or are considering your options, spousal support will probably be one of your main concerns. Usually, the party who earns the most income will be required to make monthly payments to the other party, but there are many factors that can play a role in determining spousal support in California. The following information will provide additional insights on what you can expect will make a difference in determining spousal support.

The Various Forms of Spousal Support

When it comes to spousal support, there are a few key terms you may encounter, and it is beneficial to understand their meaning. Each of these different types of spousal support will consider the length of marriage to determine which form of spousal support is most appropriate. In spite of that, it is important to know that divorcing parties can always agree to any arrangement that works best for their family dynamic.

  • Temporary Spousal Support – Temporary spousal support, often regarded as pendente lite, is a temporary arrangement that is set before the parties can establish a long-term spousal support arrangement. The purpose of temporary spousal support is to aid both parties to maintain their lifestyle, or status quo, prior to the divorce proceedings. Temporary spousal support will be based on a state guideline.
  • Long Term Spousal Support – Long term spousal support, also known as permanent support, is an agreement ordered by the overseeing family court as a part of the final resolution of a divorce. California courts recognize that a person’s financial circumstances may change after a long term spousal support has been ordered, and will allow for adequate changes to be made after. For instance, if a paying party loses his or her job, he or she can submit an order to petition for a change in the order.
  • Alimony – This term has the same meaning as spousal support. Alimony payments are made by the higher earning party to aid the lower earning party to continue the status quo of the marriage and to reach financial independence following the divorce. The term alimony, however, is no longer a common term used in the State of California. Still, it is important to know this term as it appears in the California tax code.

Spousal support arrangements in California reflect the complex realities of a separating couple. Generally, spousal support will last for half the length of the marriage, if the marriage lasted less than ten years. For longer marriages, on the other hand, the family court will not usually place a limit on the order. Instead, the paying party will be tasked with submitting proof that the payee no longer needs the financial assistance.

Obtaining Legal Counsel Can Help Protect Your Interests

The entire divorce process can be daunting and extremely overwhelming, as there are a multitude of issues to be addressed. If you are commencing the divorce procedure or are responding to the paperwork, you will need a comprehensive understanding of that is at stake. Discuss your legal options with a qualified family law attorney.

At RM Law Group, LLP, helping clients through the complexities of the divorce process is important. The compassionate attorneys at RM Law Group, LLP understand that divorce, including spousal support, is a very stressful process. The firm is committed to defending the rights and interests of their clients. Consider scheduling a no-obligation consultation with the firm today.