Disability During Marriage and Spousal Support

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Alimony can be a contentious issues among divorcing couples. Who gets what, how often, and for how long are common questions that are asked when the topic of spousal support, or alimony, comes up. In many cases, the dependent spouse, the individual receiving the alimony, earned less or stayed home to take care of children and therefore did not have a source of income. In an attempt to keep that individual at the standard of living to which they have become accustomed, a Los Angeles family law court may require that the supporting spouse pay the dependent spouse alimony. But what happens in more unusual situations?

For example, perhaps you were the providing spouse for 2 years of your 6 year marriage. You received an income and paid for all household expenses. But suddenly, an injury or disability renders you unable to work. Are you able to receive temporary alimony?

As we have discussed, family law courts in Los Angeles generally consider alimony payments made to a spouse during and after divorce based on the circumstances of the case. This means that if one spouse has disproportionate earning power, one spouse is unable to meet their day-to-day needs, and/or one spouse is disabled, a court will consider awarding spousal support. If you are in a situation like this, it is ideal to have expert legal counsel at your side protecting your best interests.

Indeed, in order to receive alimony during and/or after divorce in California, you must express your need for it within your divorce pleadings. The facts above refer to a case wherein one partner becomes temporarily, or even permanently, disabled during the marriage. If your former spouse becomes injured or disabled after the divorce, spousal support may be modified. For more information on this type of disability modification for spousal support, contact an expert family lawyer in Los Angeles.

To be clear, California courts don’t automatically order spousal support when a couple divorces. When alimony is awarded, the court has discretion to decide how much support the paying spouse pays, as well as the duration. If you are concenred about your ability to pay, or receive, spousal support, ensure that you have retained experienced divorce lawyers who understand your situation, the law, and your legal rights.

For more information on spousal support in California, contact the expert Los Angeles family attorneys at Walzer Melcher LLP today.