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San Diego Spousal Support Attorneys

Alimony and Spousal Support in California

Both parties worry about spousal support during a divorce. The spouse who earns a lower income or does not work is worried about how they will be able to support themself once the divorce is final. The higher-earning spouse may feel frustrated at the idea of paying their ex a large sum of money each month.

Our San Diego divorce attorneys at Mattis Law, A.P.C., have experience helping clients obtain fair alimony payments. Our years of family law experience provides us with knowledge of how to best proceed with spousal support. Call our lawyers at (858) 328-4400 today and schedule a free consultation.

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What Factors Are Considered in Deciding Alimony?

California has no uniform rules to determine if and how much spousal support should be awarded. The length of time spousal support is given can also vary widely. Judges have a great deal of leeway in making a final alimony determination during a divorce. Factors the court may consider when deciding alimony include:

  • Marketable skills the supported spouse has, and the job market for that skill set.
  • The amount of time that has lapsed since the supported spouse last worked, and the extent to which that time period will impact the chances of the supported spouse finding work.
  • The extent to which the supported spouse helped pay for, or helped support, the higher-earning spouse's career and education.
  • The paying spouse's ability to pay alimony.
  • The supported spouse's standard of living that was established during the marriage.
  • Both spouses' obligations (debts) and assets, including separate property.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • The age and health of the spouses.

We will quickly file for temporary spousal support if you are in need of financial assistance. Temporary alimony is meant to help the supported spouse pay bills until the final divorce judgment. This short-term amount may be more, less, or equal to the "permanent" alimony amount (assuming there is a permanent award). Permanent alimony is rarely a lifelong payment plan, and we will construct an argument on your behalf to advocate for or against extended alimony. Contact our divorce lawyers in San Diego today if you require assistance in a case involving alimony.

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Who Can Qualify for Spousal Support?

When a couple divorces in San Diego, the court may order one spouse to pay the other a specified amount of money on a regular basis, but divorce is not the only factor that can lead to a spousal support agreement. A spouse, ex-spouse, or ex-domestic partner can ask the court for support in a case that involves:

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How Long Does Spousal Support Last?

If a marriage lasts for less than a decade, then spousal support will be required for no longer than half the length of the marriage. However, if a marriage lasts 10 years or more, it is considered a marriage of long duration. With long-duration marriages, a court may not decide on a concrete date for when the spousal support shall be terminated. This does not necessarily mean that a former spouse will receive lifetime support.

A person paying support is entitled to retire at 65 and can’t be forced to work beyond that age in order to continue to provide a former spouse with support. A person paying support who is forced to take early retirement may seek an order from the court requesting support payments to cease.

San Diego Spousal Support Lawyers Helping Clients Modify Alimony Payments

Many people do not realize that alimony in California is often modifiable or can be terminated. The amount of spousal support set by the court can be altered if the circumstances of your case change. For example, if you are laid off from your job and your income is reduced, then you may be entitled to a reduction in the amount of support you are paying. Likewise, if your ex-spouse becomes employed or obtains other means of support, then a judge may terminate their spousal support.

Our San Diego spousal support attorneys have successfully pursued and defended against alimony and spousal support modifications on behalf of our clients. Contact our office today either online or by telephone at (858) 328-4400. In addition to San Diego, we service Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, and La Jolla.

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Additional Information

(858) 328-4400