Alimony or spousal support is a monthly payment that covers every day expenses of an individual after a divorce to ensure his or her financial stability. Under California law, both spouses seeking a divorce may be entitled to spousal support depending upon their financial situations. In some marriages, one partner has a stable job and earns a large percentage of the family’s income whereas the other partner either has a part time job or has the responsibility of caring for their children and maintaining the household. When there is a considerable difference in the earning potential of two spouses, the spouse who earns less may want to seek spousal support from the other.
In most states, spousal support is usually given to the wife but this is not always the case. How alimony will be awarded in a certain divorce case or whether it will be awarded at all is determined based on the details of the couple’s marriage and individual backgrounds. In situations where both spouses earn equivalent incomes, alimony will not be awarded.
Similarly, not all marriages require payment of spousal support. It will not be an issue in the divorce proceedings if it is not sought. However, if it is requested, there are several various factors that must be taken into account to determine if you will be entitled to it. Some of them include the duration of the marriage, the finances available to each person, the health condition of each party, the income and assets of each spouse and the earning capacity of each.
Alimony may be ordered temporarily, during a period of separation or while a divorce is pending. It may also be ordered short-term, long-term or conditionally. If one spouse has no adequate skills to get a stable job, a rehabilitative spousal support may be given while the spouse acquires the necessary training that he or she must undergo. Temporary spousal support may be awarded during the divorce proceeding if possible. Permanent spousal support may be awarded once the divorce is final. In marriages of short duration, permanent spousal support is usually awarded for half the duration of the marriage. In long duration marriages, permanent spousal support is usually awarded until the death or remarriage of the supported spouse.
Spousal support may be modified if a change of circumstances justifies a modification. However, the increase in the income or assets of the spouse who pays spousal support may not be an adequate reason to justify a modification of alimony unless the permanent spousal support award was not enough to enable the supported spouse to continue living in a comfortable lifestyle.
In general, spousal support is tax-deductible for the paying spouse and a taxable income for the supported spouse.
Alimony is an aspect of divorce that requires knowledge and skills to be negotiated successfully. It is essential to have a divorce lawyer that will guide you and aggressively pursue a fair spousal support payment for you based on your circumstance.
There is a lot of information here about understanding alimony for your divorce case. If you still need help understanding the alimony you receive or must provide, then you should hire a good divorce attorney. When looking for a divorce attorney, find one that has a background of handling many alimony cases.
About the Author
Paul Miller is a frequent contributor in the area of family law with a specific focus on Texas divorce. Check out the Morgan Law Firm websites that he writes for. They have offices in Houston and Austin.