California law allows for judges to award ongoing spousal support from one spouse to another both during the divorce and after the divorce. Spousal support often involves four-figure monthly or bi-monthly payments which must be made for years, and, in some cases indefinitely. In many divorces (especially in marriages involving spouses with high incomes and limited property), the amount of spousal support that is paid over the years can be much more than the property divided in the divorce. Judges have wide discretion in awarding spousal support, so it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can effectively fight for your interests.
Temporary Spousal Support at the Start of Your Proceeding
A spouse just entering into the divorce process can request that the court award temporary spousal support from the other spouse during the time it takes the divorce to reach completion, which will take at least six months or longer. The judge will generally simply incorporate both spouses’ monthly income into a formula which will determine these payments. Thus, it is important to work with a family law attorney as soon as possible to begin the process of receiving these payments.
How Final Spousal Support Determinations are Made
During the divorce proceedings, the divorcing spouses can reach a settlement regarding how much should be paid in spousal support payments and for how long these payments should be made. If they do not do this, then the family law judge will listen to evidence from both side regarding spousal support, and consider a number of factors in determining the amount and duration of spousal support payments, including:
- The monthly incomes of both spouses from all sources
- The monthly expenses of both spouses
- The living standard enjoyed during the marriage
- Additional financial holdings held by each spouse
Unlike with temporary spousal support, the judge has wide discretion in deciding how much spousal support should be paid and for how long. Often, the duration is around half the length of the marriage. These numbers can quickly add up: a $2,000 monthly payment for five years adds up to $120,000. This is a huge number for both sides, thus we will do everything we can to make sure you are treated fairly and justly in this process.
Modifying and/or Terminating Spousal Support
Spousal support payments can later be modified and/or terminated on motion by either the paying or the receiving party, and the court may grant this request if it sees a clearly articulated change in circumstance justifying the modification or termination. Our attorneys will work with to present your best case for modification, termination, or preserving the payments as per your interest.
Reach a Fair Spousal Support Outcome With Experienced Family Law Attorneys
The family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, APLC, have many years of experience representing spouses in spousal support matters and all other issues relating to divorce, and are dedicated to obtaining the best possible outcomes for their clients. For a free consultation regarding your spousal support matter, call our offices today.