Spousal support or spousal maintenance (Alimony) is generally a monthly or bi-monthly payment by one spouse to the other to help meet his or her financial needs. Unless your spouse earns a similar income as you, spousal support is likely a significant issue in your divorce case. The lower earning spouse will often need assistance to provide necessities in a manner akin to that enjoyed during marriage. Also, during a divorce or legal separation, one household becomes two. This makes it more expensive to maintain the same standard of living enjoyed during marriage.
Two Types of Alimony or Spousal Support in California
- Temporary support – is generally set according to state guidelines while the divorce is pending.
- Permanent support – involves the court generally examining the length of marriage, the relative income (real or capacity) and expenses of each spouse as well as a number of other factors, and sets spousal support at a level designed to help both parties approximate the standard of living held during marriage.
Often there are complex issues in determining a spouse's correct income or cash flow for the purposes of calculating support. A spouse may be working less diligently or not working at all to deflate income, in which case a higher income can be "imputed". In other cases, a spouse may be receiving job benefits, such as a company car allowance that should be treated as income, or he or she may be operating his/her own business and running personal expenses through the business to decrease apparent income.
We also assist unmarried clients with obtaining palimony.