California's Spousal Support Laws
Each party to a marriage is equally responsible for the care and support of the other during their marriage, including financial care and support. Often, one party to a marriage is the primary earning member of the marriage. When parties separate or eventually dissolve their marriage, the non-primary earning spouse may have the right under California law to seek spousal support, also referred to by some as "alimony."
The purpose of spousal support is to allow the non-primary earning spouse to maintain the lifestyle to which that spouse became accustom during the marriage. However, this is not always possible depending on the actual financial circumstances of each case. In those cases, spousal support is used to ensure that the non-primary earning spouse has some level of financial support to allow him or her to become self supporting in a reasonable amount of time and to maintain as close to the lifestyle as the parties financial circumstances allow, without causing the primary earning spouse to lose her or his ability to maintain the lifestyle of the marriage as well.
If you are either the primary earning or non-primary earning spouse, MNB's spousal support attorneys can help you seek spousal support, negotiate a fair support agreement, modify your current spousal support orders, or enforce any spousal support orders already made in your case.
Request a free consultation online today or call (818) 344-9200
and let our attorneys help you obtain the proper Spousal Support order.
How Long Will I Receive Support?
In California, there are presumptions established as to the length of time a spouse is entitled to receive support, based on the length of the marriage. These presumptions can be overcome by presenting evidence to the court sufficient to convince the court that fairness and the interests of justice in your case call for straying from the presumption.
While California's laws do not have actual names for the different presumptions, spousal support has two presumption and two forms:
1. When the Order is Made (typically based on marriage length):
- Temporary - A temporary spousal support order is any order regarding spousal support made prior to entry of a judgment on the issue of spousal support in your case.
- Permanent - A permanent spousal support order is any order made on the issue of spousal support in a judgment entered in your case.
2. Duration of the Order (typically based on marriage length):
- Short-term - Awarded for the purpose of providing the non-primary earning spouse support for a limited duration to allow the spouse to become self-supporting. This type of support has a termination date, after which time the supported spouse will no longer be entitled to receive spousal support from his or her former spouse. In California, if you are married less than 10 years, there is a presumption that either spouse is only entitled to receive this type of support, and should receive this type of support for no more than one-half the length of the marriage.
- Long-Term - Awarded in those situations where one spouse requires, or is presumed to require, support for the duration of his or her life (although some circumstances may cause early termination). This type of support will not have a termination date, but may have a future date at which the amount may reduce minimally, by a large amount, or may reduce to zero, while still allowing for the supported spouse to seek an increase based on the parties then-current circumstances. In California, if you are married for 10 years or more, there is a presumption that either spouse is entitled to receive this type of support, and should receive this type of support until the time of their death, the death of the other spouse, or the remarriage of the supported spouse.
It is important to keep in mind that every case is different and it is important to consult with attorneys knowledgeable and experienced in the area of spousal support before entering into any agreements regarding spousal support. MNB's attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in the area of spousal support and can help you with your Temporary, Permanent, Short-Term, and Long-Term spousal support issues.
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Schedule a consultation online or call us at (818) 344-9200.
How Much Spousal Support Am I Entitled to Receive?
Whether you live in Los Angeles, Ventura, Woodland Hills, Monterey, Beverly Hills, Sherman Oaks, Orange, Garden Grove, Riverside, Studio City, Calabasas, or any other city in California, the amount of spousal support you will receive when ordered by the court is always determined by a review of factors set forth in California's laws on spousal support. The court considers factors including, without limitation, health and age of the parties, earning capacity of each party, ability of one party to pay support to the other, needs of the parties, assets each party is receiving, and respective incomes of each party.
Despite California's spousal support laws and factors to consider, so long as a court has considered the factors set forth in the laws, the court is also allowed to consider any other factor it believes is just and equitable; meaning, the amount of support is basically left to the discretion of the court.
The amount of support is determined on a case-by-case basis. If the assets a spouse will receive are income earning and that income is sufficient to support that spouse in the lifestyle of the marriage despite the spouse not working, while the other spouse works and is awarded income earning assets, even if the marriage was longer than 10 years, the award of support may be set at zero. Similarly, if spouses are married only 9 years, but one spouse is disabled or unable to work or earn an income, that spouse may be entitled to support for a period of longer than one-half the marriage, and possibly for life from the primary earning spouse.
Because of the complexity of California's spousal support laws and their application, you should have skilled, informed, and experienced attorneys on your side - the attorneys of MNB Law Group. Our attorneys will work to obtain the support order that is best for you and your interests based on the circumstances of your case and your reality. Our team will gather all of the relevant and necessary information and prepare it for presentation to the court so it can make the spousal support orders you deserve.
Protecting your financial stability should not be delayed!
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Can I Modify my Spousal Support Order?
In California, whether the order is Temporary, Permanent, Short-Term, or Long-Term, it is always modifiable as long as your circumstances satisfy the requirements to modify. This requires a change in circumstances, which can range anywhere from job loss to cohabitation by the support party with a new significant other whom is paying for the support party's expenses. Spousal support is also modifiable if the supported spouse stops receiving child support for a child. At MNB, we can help you determine if a modification is advisable or likely based on the circumstances of your case. If modification is appropriate or should be opposed, we will inform you and represent your interests in having your spousal support orders in your best interest.
Contact MNB Law Group today to discuss your spousal support issues and their solutions. We are available online or by calling 818-344-9200. We represent clients throughout Los Angeles County, including the areas of Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Los Angeles, Tarzana, Studio City, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Northridge, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Winnetka, Ventura County, Granada Hills, Lake Balboa, Burbank, Valley Village, North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Universal City, Toluca Lake, and Chatsworth.