Spousal Support (a.k.a. Alimony)
We fight to make your life better…so that alimony is “as it should be”
The Law Office of Sean Musgrove deals with spousal support issues for clients every day, whether fighting for it or against it.
We make sure that our clients are informed about their rights regarding spousal support. We advise clients how to behave to make sure they do not harm their spousal support case. Certain behavior can either prolong or shorten spousal support.
Spousal support is a critical part of the initial case plan when the Law Office of Sean Musgrove takes a case. The case plan looks at both short term and long-term goals. We fight to make your life better.
You may be asking yourself “how much will I have to pay in spousal support and for how long”? You may be asking yourself “how much I will receive and for how long”? The answers to these questions are vital to your financial health after a divorce. Below is some general information regarding the area of spousal support. Call the Law Office of Sean Musgrove if you have further questions.
California Spousal Support
California Family Code sections 3600 (temporary spousal support) and 4300 through 4360 (post-judgment spousal support) are the laws that control spousal support in California. This can be a very complex area of divorce that can have a huge financial impact on you for years to come. While children will eventually turn 18 and graduate high school (which normally ends child support), spousal support can potentially go on forever.
How long will I have to pay spousal support?
In the beginning of a divorce case, an unemployed or lower-earning spouse can ask for temporary spousal support. The amount to be paid is determined based on a calculator in most cases and the only “factors” that the Court considers outside of the calculator is the asking party’s need for support and the paying party’s ability to pay support. If the calculator says that support should be paid but the Court makes a finding that there is no need or there is a lack of ability to pay, the Court may still deny support. If ordered, this “temporary” support lasts until the final judgment of divorce. The final judgment may contain orders for post-judgment spousal support.
How long you will be paying post-judgment spousal support depends on a variety of factors. The first thing that needs to be looked at is how long the you and your spouse were married. If you are married less than ten years, your marriage is considered to be one of a short duration. If you are married over ten years, your marriage is considered to be a marriage of long duration. In either case, depending on how long you were married, a different set of rules apply pursuant to Family Code section 4320.
If you have a marriage of short duration, then spousal support is generally for half the duration of the marriage. So, if you were married for nine years, spousal support may be for four and a half years.
If you have a marriage of long duration, spousal support may go on indefinitely.
There may be circumstances in either long- or short-term marriages where support may not be ordered, may be ordered for a limited time, or may be extended beyond the “normal” amount of time.
This is why it is so important to make sure you have the right facts in front of the judge. To get the right facts in front of a judge, you should retain an attorney to help you consider all possibilities.