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Spousal Support

Spousal Support

Torrance, CA Spousal Support

Family Law Attorney Bruce A. Mandel Has Over 27 Years of Experience Handling Spousal Support Cases

Spousal Support

Spousal support, otherwise known as “alimony”, is a monthly payment made from one former spouse to another after a divorce has been filed. It is termed “partner support” in domestic partnerships. When a divorce occurs in California, there are potentially 2 types of spousal support: Temporary and permanent. This court-ordered financial support generally occurs to maintain the standard of living the supported party was accustomed to during the marriage.

The court comes up with a permanent monthly amount by looking at several factors. They have discretion when setting the amount. Bruce A. Mandel uses his knowledge of the law and the local courts to gather details about all factors involved. Many times, alimony is a source of contention between divorcing couples. Most people enlist the help of a skilled family-law attorney to negotiate the fairest outcome in court. When contested, it can be one of the most complicated issues of a California divorce trial.

Spousal support in Torrance is calculated after child support, if any, has been determined.

Temporary support is ordered when a divorce is pending. It is generally based on the same computer program used to calculate child support. A temporary order will not affect the permanent order.

How is Permanent Spousal Support Determined?

There is a controlling statue which guides the court when determining permanent spousal support. Permanent support is geared to be more long-term than life-long by the courts.

It will consider a variety of circumstances, including:

  • Whether each person has the earning capacity to maintain the standard of living formerly enjoyed during the marriage.
  • Each party’s marketable skills, the job market, and possible need for further education.
  • Whether the supported party’s earning capacity is impacted by periods of unemployment due to taking on other duties at home.
  • Contribution of a supported party to the former partner’s education and career.
  • The ability of the supporting party’s ability to pay spousal support.
  • The obligations and assets of each former spouse.
  • How long the marriage lasted.
  • Whether becoming employed would interfere with the supported party raising dependent children.
  • How old and in what state of health each party is in.
  • Documented history of domestic violence.

The court also considers other factors, such as balancing potential hardships for each party.

Length of Spousal Support

It’s the goal of the court that the supported party will be self-supporting within approximately half the length of the marriage, with the exception of a long lasting marriage. To the court, a marriage of long duration is considered 10 years or more. Alimony duration won’t be set for a longer marriage, and the supporter will need to prove that spousal support is not necessary at some point.

In many situations the supporting party argues that the former spouse receiving payments isn’t making enough effort to become employed. In this type of scenario, the supporting party needs to prove there is earning capacity, ability and opportunity for their former spouse to become employed.

In a shorter marriage, the spouse receiving payments will be expected to become self-supporting sooner. The court is more lenient when a spouse has been out of the workforce for a longer period of time and has trouble reentering the workforce.

There was a time in this state where the court entitled some women to lifelong alimony, and has progressed to the possibility of a cessation of support in ideal circumstances.

Alimony legally terminates upon death of either party.

Can Spousal Support Agreements Be Modified?

Either the payor spouse or the spouse who is supported can seek a modification of previously ordered spousal support. This can be due to the payor’s current medical condition or some other previously unforeseen change of life. If you and your former spouse don’t agree, you’ll need to pursue the potential change in court. Use an experienced Torrance family law attorney to protect your interests.

Spousal support can’t be ordered because of any misdeed by the supporting party. It is for use in financial considerations, not as a punishment for adultery. However, in a case where the person receiving payments committed act of violence against the potential payor, the judge can withhold payments.

Contact an Experienced Torrance, California Spousal Support Attorney Today

The legal experts at Bruce A. Mandel Family Law Firm are adept at navigating the Torrance court system and will work hard to give you the best possible outcome. Call our office today at  (424) 250-9130 or email us to schedule a FREE  consultation.