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Tustin Spousal Support & Alimony Lawyer
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is often a contested issue in a California divorce. Unlike child support, spousal support is not a legal requirement. Neither party in a divorce is automatically entitled to this support. Also, unlike child support, the state does not provide any set any formula that must be followed to determine this payment. Generally, whether or not you may be awarded spousal support will be left up to the court’s discretion after it considers many factors regarding your marriage.
Because disputes often arise over this complicated issue, it is vital that you put a competent and experienced attorney on your side. At the Law Office of Tracey N. Lundquist, APC, our Tustin spousal support and alimony lawyer has successfully represented clients on both sides of this matter, both those seeking and those contesting support. This is often an issue that arises for couples who have had lengthy marriages as well as in cases of high net-worth. Our attorney is well-versed in the laws related to spousal support as well as in how courts operate in its determination.
Need help seeking or contesting spousal support? Consult with our Tustin attorney about your case. Contact the Law Office of Tracey N. Lundquist, APC at (714) 949-1711 or online. We serve all of Orange County, LA County, Whittier, Pomona, Long Beach, Riverside, and San Bernardino.
Spousal Support in California
While a divorce is pending, the family court may order either spouse to pay temporary spousal support to the other. This will be based on a demonstrated need shown by the supported party and an ability to pay by the supporting party. The general purpose of this temporary support is to main the status quo of the marriage to the extent possible. However, family courts often realize that the parties cannot do so, since they are now maintaining two separate households. As a result, the family court will allocate the family income as equitably as possible at this time while considering the parties’ separate incomes and expenses.
Permanent Spousal Support
Permanent spousal support is ordered at the time of finalizing your divorce. Its purpose is to provide financial assistance where appropriate, in consideration of both sides’ financial position after the marital estate has been divided.
In determining a permanent spousal support award, the family court will consider the relevant subsections of Family Code section 4320.
The factors that may be considered under this law can include:
- Earning capacity
- The extent to which the supported party contributed to the supporting party’s education, training career, or license
- Ability to pay
- Each party’s needs based on the standard of living established during the marriage
- Each party’s assets and obligations
- The duration of the marriage
- The recipient’s ability to be gainfully employed
- Each party’s age and health
- Any history of domestic violence
- Immediate and specific tax consequences for both parties
- The balance of the hardships
- The goal that the supported party will become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time
- Any criminal convictions
- Any other factors the court deems just and equitable
A supporting party’s obligation to continue paying “permanent” spousal support varies – it is not necessarily paid on a permanent basis. When the recipient has the ability and opportunity to earn more than he or she is earning but refuses to do so, the family court may impute income (i.e., “ghost” wages) to deter any shirking of the recipient’s ability to become self-supporting.
The length of a permanent spousal support order also varies. In a marriage of long duration (over 10 years), the permanent support may last indefinitely, such as until the remarriage of the recipient or the death of either party. In a short-term marriage, or a marriage of less than 10 years, the general rule regarding duration is to order support for a term equal to one-half the length of the marriage.
At the Law Office of Tracey N. Lundquist, APC, we understand the difficult nature that comes along with your separation, divorce, or other family legal matters. We will listen to your needs, develop and communicate a personalized strategy in search of fair and just results, and remain alert to the related expenses of all legal proceedings.
“Always realistic and with caring, professional service. It is very evident from the first meeting that Tracey truly cares for her clients.”- April
“She seems to be highly experienced and she knows the law thoroughly! I would highly recommend Tracy to anyone in need of legal representation in their divorce case.”- Eva
“Tracey alleviated a lot of stress with her knowledgeable advice, I really can't thank her enough.”- Emily
“Tracey represented me for my child custody hearings and she was outstanding.”- Carissa
“We are beyond thrilled with the outcome of the hearing and now have additional time with our son that is firm and precise down to the day and hour leaving nothing open to misinterpretation.”- Former Client