No matter what the circumstances of the separation are, filing for divorce can have a significant financial impact on both parties, as what was once a combined household income is now separate, and not always equally so. In most cases of divorce in Los Angeles, one spouse earns more than the other, and during the marriage, the couple shared household income, which means the spouse who earns less suffers a far greater loss when the marriage ends. Fortunately, there are laws in California that help make sure spouses who were financially dependent on their husbands or wives during marriage are not left destitute after divorce. Whether you are seeking spousal support from your ex-spouse, or you have been ordered to make alimony payments by a judge in California, Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles can help. Contact our legal team today at (213) 550-4600 for a free spousal support consultation.
Affordable Los Angeles Spousal Support Attorney
After getting a divorce in Los Angeles, your entire life can change. In some cases, you may no longer be able to enjoy the same standard of living you did before your marriage ended, especially if your spouse earned more money than you. It is for this exact reason that the state of California has laws in place that, under certain circumstances, require a higher-earning spouse to make payments to a lower-earning spouse after divorce. Spousal support is a complicated legal issue requiring an intimate understanding of California family law and the inner workings of the legal system, and once a spousal support order is issued by the court, there are serious consequences for failing to adhere to it.
In some cases, spouses filing for divorce are able to reach a workable and amicable agreement in regard to spousal support payments, which means they do not have to appear before a judge and leave the decision up to the court. However, alimony is a hotly contested issue for many divorced or divorcing couples in Los Angeles and reaching an alimony payment agreement or settlement often requires the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney. If you hire us, we will do our best to ensure your interests are represented during negotiations or mediation, and should your spousal support case go to trial, our legal team at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles will protect your rights and improve your chances of getting a fair judgment in court.
Understanding How Alimony Works in California
Spousal support, more commonly known as alimony, payments are ongoing, periodic payments made from one spouse to another under a legal separation or divorce order issued by the court. Spousal support is intended to help an economically disadvantaged (or lower-earning) spouse continue to enjoy a similar standard of living after he or she is divorced. In most cases in Los Angeles, the spouse who earns a higher income is ordered by the court to pay alimony to the other spouse, though whether you are entitled to alimony in California divorce proceedings depends on a number of factors, including: your earning capacity, the length of your marriage and any documented history of domestic violence between you and your spouse. There are two types of spousal support in California:
- Temporary spousal support – Set at your initial hearing and paid until a complete agreement is reached, or until a Final Order of Divorce is entered
- Permanent spousal support– Paid for an indefinite period of time in an amount that can be modified later, if and when the financial circumstances of either spouse change
How to File for Spousal Support in Los Angeles
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means the spouse asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong; he or she must simply state that due to “irreconcilable differences,” the couple cannot get along. Similarly, under California Family Code § 4320, marital misconduct carries no weight when establishing the payment of alimony or spousal support after divorce. Spousal support is not intended to punish a spouse for misbehavior, nor it is meant as a reward for a spouse having endured mistreatment at the hands of his or her wife or husband during the marriage. The sole consideration for spousal support in Los Angeles is financial in nature, to ensure that both spouses can maintain a standard of living after divorce that is close to the standard established during the marriage.
To file for spousal support in Los Angeles, the party requesting the payment must ask the judge to make a spousal support order, and this order must be issued as part of either a divorce or legal separation, or as part of a domestic violence restraining order. You can either ask that the alimony be paid while the case is going on (temporary spousal support) or once the divorce or legal separation becomes final, as part of the court judgment (permanent spousal support). Under California law, spousal support payments are automatically terminated upon the death or remarriage of the supported party. In some cases, the spousal support agreements can be changed, if the spouse making the payments suffers a significant financial hardship, or if the spouse receiving the payments suddenly requires less support.
How an Experienced Los Angeles Alimony Attorney Can Help
Divorce and spousal support cases in Los Angeles can be complicated, especially when emotions are running high and both parties are feeling exposed and financially vulnerable. Our attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles often encourage divorced or divorcing couples to attempt to reach a workable and amicable alimony payment agreement on their own outside of court, as negotiation and settlement are almost always preferable to going to trial. However, we want what’s best for you and your family, and we will stand by your side every step of the way, whether you end up going to court or not. One thing to keep in mind if your case does go to trial is that the judge has a great deal of discretion when deciding on spousal support payments. This is why it is so important to have a thorough understanding of the factors the judge will consider when deciding how much alimony you will receive or pay. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand the complexities of your spousal support agreement, help you calculate alimony payments and prepare the forms required by the court, among other things.
Free Spousal Support Consultation in Los Angeles
The circumstances surrounding every failed marriage are different, as are the needs of each departing spouse, which is why spousal support cases in Los Angeles require the competent and compassionate hand of an attorney with an extensive background in family law. With the help of our legal team at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles, you can request the spousal support you deserve from your spouse, so you can continue to live the life you had grown accustomed to during your marriage, even if your income no longer supports that lifestyle. If you believe you may be entitled to alimony payments in Los Angeles, or if you are facing unmanageable spousal support obligations, don’t hesitate to get legal help. Our knowledgeable attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles will protect your rights under California law and will work tirelessly to represent your case to the best of their ability.