In family law, spousal support and child support are at the top of the list when a client comes in to consult with an attorney. Child support can be defined as a payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child at the termination of a marriage or relationship. Where as spousal support, sometimes referred to as alimony, is intended to maintain the supported party at a lifestyle similar to that experienced during the marriage, at least in theory.
Although both spousal support and child support seem simple they are very complex. Each situation is unique and there are many factors that should be discussed with an attorney. A few truths about spousal support:
- Spousal support can be awarded even if there are no children as a result of the marriage.
- California is a no –fault jurisdiction hence, if your spouse had an affair during marriage this is inconsequential.
- A marriages of 10 years or more is presumptively a marriage of long term, in California, which entitles the supported party to spousal support for an indefinite period of time to be determined by the ongoing facts and circumstances of the case.
- Cohabitation with another person especially under the context of a dating relationship creates the presumption of decreased living expenses thus this may be an argument for reduced spousal support.
- Filing for bankruptcy will not discharge your spousal support obligations.
It is always best to consult a family law attorney to discuss your specific issues and determine the best strategy for your case.