Alimony Agreements in Divorce
Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, refers to monetary monthly
payments made by one spouse to the other after a
divorce. Spousal support is intended to ensure that both parties are able to maintain
the same standard of living they shared during the marriage.
As a complex facet of
family law, spousal support can be difficult to negotiate on your own. To ensure
that you are prepared to put your best foot forward when negotiating the
terms of a support arrangement or requesting a modification, call a legal
professional at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich today. With experience
in well over 5,000 cases, our Riverside divorce lawyers have seen it all
– and we are ready to advocate on your behalf.
Set up a free consultation with our team to learn more!
Who Will Pay Alimony?
In the majority of cases, spousal support is paid by the party with a higher
income to the other person for a predetermined period, with the purpose
of allowing the receiving party a chance to get on stable ground financially.
There are, however, cases in which the judge may order spousal support,
even when both parties have a similar level of income, as a remedy for
damage done during the marriage.
Factors Affecting Support Payments
child support, there is no formula for determining how much you will be required to
pay in alimony; however, there are certain factors the judge will take
into account. These typically relate to each party's income/earning
capacity, although some factors weigh the quality of the former marriage.
Be sure to consult with an attorney who can help you develop a favorable plan.
Factors that could affect your spousal support ruling include:
- The current income of each party
- Each party's earning capacity
- Vocational skills, professional licenses and educational degrees
- The duration of the marriage
- The standard of living the couple shared during the marriage
- Each party's contribution to the marriage
- The age, physical and mental health of each party
How to Calculate Spousal Support
In order for alimony to be determined, there must be a court case. While
the divorce or separation is going on, one spouse may petition for a temporary
spousal support order if they cannot afford their lifestyle in the meantime.
Upon coming to legal separation or divorce terms, the spousal support
amount will be permanent.
For the most accurate information on how your support will be calculated,
review your local court's rules, as rules differ by jurisdiction.
According to California Family Code § 4320, the factors that a judge
will make the alimony decision upon are as follows: the length of the
marriage, the standard of living prior to divorce or separation, income,
expenses, children, age and physical condition, any debts, any domestic
violence present and tax impact. Spousal support is just one aspect of
your divorce agreement.
Spousal support can easily become a key issue in a
contested divorce, adding a significant amount of litigation and cost to the divorce. A
Riverside divorce attorney can represent you throughout the process and
fight to see that you aren't left with an alimony agreement that makes
life difficult for you. Being granted too small a payment or being ordered
to pay too much alike can cause financial hardship in the years following
What If I Can't Afford to Pay Alimony?
The time span between when you filed for divorce and where you are at now
may have seen a lot of changes. You may have come to a place where you
can no longer afford to pay alimony, or at least not to the extent that
you used to be. Maybe you are even concerned that your former spouse is
abusing your payments and using them excessively rather than for necessity.
If you can no longer afford to make payments, the court can change a spousal
support order by way of a
modification. If your alimony agreement is modified, but you still have outstanding
payments to be made, these debts do not simply disappear. Conversely,
those who fail to pay alimony without petitioning for a modification may
have their wages garnished or accrue penalties. Spousal support will end
only on one of three circumstances: court order, death or remarriage.
Call a Certified Family Law Specialist!
Contact us at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich to speak with a seasoned divorce
lawyer in Riverside. As a
Certified Family Law Specialist with the California Board of Legal Specialization, Attorney Danica Hanich
is highly qualified to provide the expert counsel and representation you
need. Let our lawyers help you find a favorable resolution to your situation!
Call (951) 687-6003 today and
request your initial consultation!