If you are currently in the midst of California divorce proceedings, you may be entitled to alimony payments – otherwise known as spousal support payments. Alimony may be short-term (pendente lite) or long-term and generally requires that the higher earning spouse pay the other spouse a specified amount of a money for a predetermined period of time. Alimony may also consist of a single lump-sum payment. An experienced alimony attorney at Rick Banks Law has the legal knowledge and experience to help you obtain alimony and other types of support, both while your divorce case is pending and after your divorce case has been finalized.
Duration of Support
The length of time for which a spouse is legally entitled to alimony payments is usually tied in with the duration of the spouses’ marriage. If the marriage lasted for less than 10 years, a California court will not usually order alimony payments for longer than half the duration of the marriage.
However, if the marriage lasted for 10 years or longer, California courts will not usually set a definite alimony termination date. Courts in California are not likely to award ‘indefinite’ or ‘permanent’ alimony. Spouses who claim that they cannot work for some reason must usually offer evidence to that effect, such as a vocational evaluation and/or evidence of advanced age or disability.
Calculating the Amount of Spousal Support Owed
In cases of temporary alimony, where a spouse receives support while the divorce case is still pending, California courts usually use established formulas for arriving at the total support amount.
In cases of support ordered after a final divorce decree has been entered, California courts are likely to consider the following factors:
- The supported spouse’s marketable skills
- The supported spouse’s time or expenses needed for additional education or training
- The supported spouse’s non-monetary contributions to the marriage
- The supported spouse’s contributions to the other spouse’s education, training, or professional licensing
- The supporting spouse’s ability to pay the support
- Each spouse’s financial needs
- Each spouse’s needs based upon the standard of living that was established over the course of the spouses’ marriage
- Each spouse’s income and assets
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and health status
- Tax consequences of each spouse
- Any documented instances of domestic violence between the spouses
Modification or Termination of Spousal Support
Any spousal support agreement or court order may be modified based upon a material change in circumstances. Under California law, spousal support automatically terminates upon the death or remarriage of one of the spouses.
Effects of Spousal Support on Income Taxes
A spouse who receives alimony must usually pay taxes on those alimony payments. By the same token, a spouse who pays alimony may deduct those payments on his or her tax returns. There are generally no tax ramifications associated with a lump sum support payment.
Contact a Fresno Alimony Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
A Fresno alimony attorney can help you determine whether or not you are eligible for spousal support under California law. Call the experienced alimony attorneys at Rick Banks Law at 559-222-4891 today.