When a couple comes together in marriage, they not only get united emotionally, but their finances merge too. Hence, each partner will participate in financial decisions, and whatever they earn during the marriage belongs to them, not to one. When divorce happens, it disconnects the fiscal unity as well, yet the needs of each partner must be met.
When getting divorced in California, either you or your partner are entitled to spousal support according to the law. Understanding your rights and obligations is critical before filing for the divorce. You should consult an experienced San Diego Divorce Lawyer to discuss critical issues such as spousal support calculation in the divorce process.
Understanding Spousal Support
Spousal support is commonly referred to as alimony. This is the payment that one spouse receives from their partner after getting divorced. In California, alimony is categorized as either permanent or temporary.
According to the law, as divorce is pending, the spouse entitled to maintenance receives temporary support until the divorce gets finalized. This type of support is not set on a specific period. It also doesn’t expire for as long as the divorce is pending.
Permanent support, on the other hand, is the payment made to one spouse post the judgment in a divorce case. Before the amount is arrived at, the judge considers factors that may include how long you were married and the lifestyle you lived while married.
Calculating Spousal Support
Before determining how much is paid in spousal support, the judge makes sure child support has been taken care of first if children are involved. Deciding the amount of permanent spousal support is not easy because of the various factors that must be considered. Your San Diego Divorce Lawyer should explain to you the statute used as found under Family Code Section 4320.
The judge will consider the following to calculate the amount in permanent spousal support:
- Each party’s earning capacity and how it can sufficiently support the living standards accustomed when married to each other. Under this, the judge will evaluate the supported partner’s skills and the time they require to attain marketable skills that
will lead to self-sufficiency. If the party receiving support were unemployed by choosing to devote their time to family duties, the judge considers this because of how it may affect their future earnings.
- The contribution of the supported spouse in helping the supporting party grow in their career, education, and financial status. If the other spouse sacrificed their income to take you to school, or they solely supported the family as you pursued further studies, this is considered as well.
- The capability of the spouse to pay alimony. Their earning capacity currently and in the future is taken into consideration.
- The needs each party has according to the living standards they got accustomed to during the marriage. This means that a supporting spouse will not be asked to pay alimony to support a lifestyle that was not shared in the marriage.
- The length of the marriage. The length of which alimony is paid depends on a transition time from marriage to being single and then self-sufficient. A skilled San Diego Divorce lawyer can help you understand further by explaining what the judge looks at to decide. For instance, if your marriage lasted less than ten years, mostly, the supporting spouse is ordered to pay alimony for half the period the marriage lasted. This means that if you were married for seven years, you would pay alimony for three and a half years.
If the marriage lasted for over ten years, the support is paid for much longer. The judge will order the supporting spouse to continue paying alimony provided the other one needs it. This means no automatic date to terminate the support, but the payment is for as long as you can pay.
- If the supported spouse can engage in profitable employment without compromising the wellbeing of their children if in their custody. If getting gainful employment will affect the children, the court may order the supporting spouse to pay more in alimony and for longer. This will protect the minors under the supported spouse’s custody from getting affected negatively.
What You Should Do
If you are going through a divorce, you will have to deliberate on many issues, including child support and spousal support. These are critical issues that you want to engage an experienced divorce attorney so that you are treated fairly during the divorce process. Therefore, get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible to prepare yourself for the situation ahead.