When to Hire a Spousal Support Attorney

Spousal support is often one of the most contentious issues in a California divorce. The wealthier spouse does not want to lose all of their money continuing to support a former spouse after the divorce, while the spouse who is less financially secure may be relying on support to cover daily expenses while establishing financial independence. No matter what side you are on, you should speak with an experienced California spousal support lawyer about your case. The top-tier legal team at Kearney Baker has zealously advocated for clients throughout the Pasadena area during their spousal support negotiations, and we can help you with your case. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Spousal Support Factors

If a couple cannot agree on the types and duration of spousal support in their divorce case, the court has significant discretion to determine what is appropriate for them. According to California law, the court should take the following factors into consideration when determining the proper amount of alimony necessary to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage:

  • The marketable skills of the supported party and the level of training needed to develop those skills
  • The extent to which the supported party’s present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment because the supported party devoted time to domestic duties
  • The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party
  • The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support
  • The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage*
  • The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment
  • The age and health of the parties
  • Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence
  • The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party
  • The balance of the hardships to each party
  • The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time
  • Any other factors the court determines

An experienced spousal support attorney will be able to make the case to the judge as to how these factors weigh in your favor during your divorce.

*It should be noted that the ultimate support is usually 15-25% less than the “standard of living” guideline because, as a practical point, it’s almost never possible to maintain the standard of living while supporting two households.

Length of Spousal Support

In addition, the court has significant discretion in determining the length of time that spousal support is paid after a divorce. The law suggests that marriages up to 10 years in duration have a support limit of one half the length of the marriage, but the statute does not require the judge to adhere to that limit. For marriages longer than 10 years, the court might make the spousal support indefinite until the supported spouse remarries or either former spouse dies. You need an experienced California spousal support lawyer to advocate for you during such an important deliberation.

Talk to a Spousal Support Attorney

If you would like to speak with an experienced California spousal support attorney about your case, call or contact Kearney Baker today to schedule a consultation. We deal in the practical aspects of the law, and when the criteria set forth is not achievable, we will work towards the best possible outcome.