The National Center for Health Statistics found that 20 percent of first marriages end in separation or divorce within five years. Going through a divorce is emotional and has huge impacts on the relationships of those nearest to you. You may be agonizing over the possibility and implications of getting a divorce or just starting the process and realizing it is more complex than you anticipated. According to the Superior Court of California, California is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means the spouse who asks for the divorce does not need to provide a reason why. Legally, they can just say that there were irreconcilable differences. Even if you do not need to spend time justifying to a court why you want to get a divorce, there are still plenty of decisions that need to be made, including how each spouse is going to financially succeed post-divorce.
If you are considering a divorce contact the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein for a free initial consultation. We will assist you in each step of the divorce process and ensure you receive a just spousal support order upon separation.
Under California law, husbands and wives to a dissolution of marriage or legal separation may be entitled to spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance. At the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein, we have experience advising clients on spousal support issues, negotiating spousal support on behalf of our clients, and trying Santa Barbara spousal support matters in court.
Although it is still commonly seen, not all spousal support flows from the ex-husband to his ex-wife. According to Forbes, there are 400,000 cases of spousal maintenance in the country, and in only three percent of cases, men were supported financially post-divorce. In the past men were the breadwinners and women weren’t the financially independent spouse of the family. It is increasingly more common for the female to be supporting the household before a divorce, however, men as still less likely to accept financial support post-divorce because of long-held gender roles.
Either party may request temporary support as early as the filing of the petition or response in a dissolution of marriage or legal separation case. Temporary support enables the party with less income to maintain the marital standard of living while the case proceeds. Individual counties in California have their own rules and formulas for determining temporary spousal support. Some counties use a guideline spousal support formula that is calculated with software such as Dissomaster. In other counties, including Santa Barbara County and Orange County, temporary spousal support is based on the court’s discretion and a series of financial and lifestyle factors.
Unlike temporary spousal support, the support set at the time of the dissolution of marriage, known as long-term or permanent spousal support does not differ by county and is not calculated with a formula. The court must consider a group of support factors, and then has the discretion to order permanent spousal support that it believes is appropriate. These factors include:
The courts decide both the amount of alimony and the duration of payments. If there is a reason the supported spouse may never be able to support themselves, payments may continue until one party dies. If the supported spouse cohabitates with someone else, the spousal support payments may get reduced. When the supported spouse remarries, the alimony will be terminated. If the supporting spouse finds a new partner, that individual’s finances will not be taken into account and spousal support payments will not change.
It is also possible that, at the time of the divorce, neither party requires spousal support. If that is the case, the California Department of Justice suggests asking the court to “keep the door open” for a period of time. This leaves the opportunity to revisit the topic of spousal support at a later date if financial circumstances change.
Whenever possible, spousal support should be negotiated and agreed to between the parties outside of court. A prolonged court battle over spousal support can be both financially and emotionally costly and can lead to an unpredictable result. If negotiation fails, a Santa Barbara spousal support attorney at Law Offices of Evan Braunstein can protect your spousal support interests in court.
Getting through a divorce can be overwhelming, especially if the process becomes antagonistic. You don’t need to go through it alone. Our spousal support attorneys are here to offer legal advice, guide you through the divorce, and ensure you are financially stable post-divorce. Call the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein to learn more about your options today.