Spousal Support After a Divorce: What It Is, How It’s Determined, How to Request It, and Marvin Actions
Are You Entitled to Alimony?
During a divorce, there are four main ways to transfer assets in the event of a divorce: property settlement, retirement accounts, child support, and alimony. Although the first three can be difficult to determine, alimony is perhaps the most complicated.
What is Alimony?
Also known as spousal support, alimony is money paid from the spouse who earns more to the spouse with less income or other financial resources after a divorce. Because of this, alimony is only awarded to one of the spouses. Alimony comes from the future earnings of one of the spouses and is paid over a set period of time. Alimony may come in the form of direct payments such as a monthly check or deposit, or it may come in an indirect way such as one spouse paying the other’s rent or other bills. Not all divorce decrees include alimony, especially if the marriage was brief or both spouses earned around the same level of income. Any voluntary payments that go beyond the scope of alimony in the divorce decree are not considered to be alimony.
How to Determine Spousal Support
Under California law, husbands and wives who are in the process of a divorce can be entitled to spousal support, which is also referred to as alimony. This kind of support is generally awarded when there is a significant variance in the earnings or potential earnings of one spouse, and the spouse who earns much less may seek support from the other. As a result of a successful request for support, the lower-earning spouse receives a monthly payment that covers routine expenses and ensures financial security. It has become more difficult for many spouses to receive alimony than it was in the past, although it can be more common in high-end divorce cases where there are significant assets and one spouse may have been a stay-at-home parent. Do not wait in contacting a divorce attorney in San Diego for consultation if you are thinking of moving towards a divorce.
Spousal Support and San Diego, California Law
Depending on the needs of each spouse, support can be temporary or permanent. There are many factors that go into determining the length of time support will be provided and the amount of support to be given. Each case is unique and has to be carefully considered. The length of time the spouses were married, the income of both parties, their ages and circumstances, and the standard of living they both had before the divorce are among the factors that will be looked at when negotiating the amount and duration of alimony.
It’s crucial during this phase of the negotiations that you have an experienced, skilled divorce attorney helping you achieve optimal results for your case. Especially in high-asset, contentious cases, one spouse may be very much against paying any kind of support to the other spouse beyond child support. Family law mediation can be used for many of the issues surrounding child custody and other matters, but determining alimony is a different issue for which a good attorney is needed. You want to protect your rights, and we can help you do that.
Requesting Support from Your Spouse
The State of California recognizes that there is a responsibility for support between spouses. A court order for alimony helps to ensure that both spouses maintain a lifestyle comparable to what they experienced during their marriage once they are divorced.
If you or your spouse is going to request temporary spousal support during divorce proceedings or permanent alimony after your marriage is dissolved, it is vital that you work with an attorney who has experience in these matters to protect your financial interests. This is especially important because the court has very broad discretion when deciding whether to order support for a spouse. Some of the factors the court will consider include:
- The needs of the spouse
- The ability of the other spouse to pay
- The length of the marriage
- Each party’s earning potential, occupation, education, health, age, willingness to prepare for a new occupation, and balancing factors related to the division of marital assets
When non-registered domestic partners decide that they are ending their relationship, it’s recommended they speak with an attorney about rights to palimony, also referred to as Marvin actions. Palimony works very differently than standard spousal support.
Sometimes domestic partnerships may involve one person staying home to care for a family. Or both partners may work, but one is clearly the breadwinner. In these situations, the partner who earns less may be entitled to receive palimony or have an interest in real or personal property.
Call Renkin & Associates for Your Spousal Support Concerns
There are potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on the line due to potential tax pitfalls alone when it comes to alimony whether you are the receiver or the payer. Our family law attorneys will advocate for your legal rights and represent your financial interests. The team is dedicated to serving as your advocate in divorce, mediation and spousal support matters. Call 619-299-7100 or send us an email to schedule a case evaluation.