Calculating Alimony in California
While the legal details surrounding divorce and related family law issues can seem complicated, some are based on relatively simple math. Alimony, for instance, is based on a formula California courts use.
If you’re worrying about alimony in your divorce, a lawyer can help you understand how to work within California’s laws to change the monthly amount you pay or receive.
A judge will determine whether alimony is warranted and how much it will be during the divorce trial. The court will evaluate several factors, including the following:
1) How long a couple was married or in a domestic partnership
The longer a couple was married, the greater the order for support is likely to be.
2) Whether one spouse was supporting the other
The court will consider awarding support to spouses who have been staying at home full time or who make significantly less and could not continue their lifestyle without support from the other.
3) The care of minor children
When a divorce involves young children, alimony may be awarded so one parent can stay home and care for them. This money is paid in addition to child support.
4) Retraining or education for one spouse
It may be necessary to return to school to update your skills or those of your spouse who has been staying home. In this case, alimony could be paid during this time frame and until you or your spouse are retrained to enter the job market.
Your Lifestyle Plays a Role in Alimony
The lifestyle you establish during your marriage is one that the court will likely seek to continue after the divorce. If both of you are used to driving nice vehicles, taking annual vacations, and living in a large home, but one spouse cannot afford this lifestyle on his or her own, alimony may be awarded. This allows a lesser-earning spouse to continue to live in a similar way to when he or she was married.
How Long Does Alimony Last?
This is a common question, and it depends on the situation, including how long a couple was married. It is common for alimony to last until children turn eighteen, a spouse has completed his or her education, or Social Security kicks in. Typically, a life event triggers the end of alimony payments.
You Need an Attorney
Having an experienced attorney represent you makes it more likely that you will be pleased with the judge’s ruling on your alimony. There is a lot of wiggle room for a judge to award or not award alimony.
A California family attorney’s arguments can influence the amount of alimony the court orders. For example, an attorney can demonstrate that it is possible for a stay-at-home spouse to return to work or demonstrate that the requested alimony is impossible due to the demands of the children or another factor.
Discuss Your Case
If you’re having trouble reaching an agreement with your ex on alimony, you could benefit from the legal knowledge of the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock. To discuss your case with us, give us a call at 909-466-7661 or fill out the form below.