If you are considering filing for divorce in California, or have already begun the process, you may have questions about alimony. Alimony is a husband’s or wife’s court-ordered provision for a spouse after separation or divorce and can be paid either by lump sum or on a continuing basis (i.e. monthly). Alimony is paid by the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse. Generally, a spouse is dependent when he or she makes less money than the other spouse. The intention behind alimony payments is to maintain the former spouse at a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage.
The court may order a temporary spousal support payment before finalizing the permanent amount. For a more detailed explanation on alimony payments, including how the amount paid is determined, continue reading.
Alimony Payment Factors
When a family law judge decides your permanent alimony payment, he or she will consider:
- The length of the marriage;
- The standard of living during the marriage;
- Earning ability – whether the dependent spouse should find work;
- Whether having a job would make it too hard to take care of the children;
- The age and health of both partners;
- Debts and property;
- Whether one spouse supported the other in furthering their education, training, career, etc…;
- Existence of domestic violence in the marriage;
- The tax impact of spousal support;
The spousal or partner support order then becomes part of the final divorce or legal separation judgment. It is important to make sure that spousal support payments reflect your current financial situation; meaning that if you are the supporting spouse you are not required to make payments that put you in financial arrears, or if you are the dependent spouse, you are able to live comfortably.
An experienced divorce lawyer in Los Angeles will work with your and your soon-to-be ex to ensure that your divorce does not ruin you financially and that you are able to move forward in a standard of living to which you are accustomed. Alimony payments are separate from child support payments. For more information on spousal support payments, or alimony payments, in Los Angeles divorces, contact the expert family lawyers at Walzer Melcher LLP today.