Spousal Support

There are so many issues that accompany a divorce or legal separation proceeding.  One of the most essential topics to understand is spousal support (sometimes called alimony).  When you decide to live apart from or divorce your spouse, you may be entitled to additional financial support from them for a certain period of time.  With that support come many considerations for your own finances.  An experienced and local family law attorney can inform you of what spousal support is and how it can affect you in a divorce or legal separation matter.

What Is Spousal Support?

While adjudicating a legal separation or a divorce, a court may require one spouse to pay a certain amount of money to support the other spouse on a monthly basis.  Even while the case is ongoing, a spouse may still request temporary spousal support from the other spouse until the final judgment.  

How much spousal support can I receive?

For temporary support orders, local courts do utilize various formulas to determine how much a spouse should receive.  

When deciding on permanent support orders, the court looks at a number of factors that revolve around the length of the marriage and the standard of living maintained therein, each party’s ability to support themselves at that same or a similar standard, debts and property, tax implications of spousal support, whether one spouse is significantly disadvantaged due to duties they performed in their marriage or as a parent, and whether one spouse was significantly advantaged due to the sacrifices of the other spouse.  

How long can I receive spousal support?

Depending on what the court orders, you can receive spousal support for quite a long time.  If the court only allows for spousal support for a specific period of time, the final judgment order will notate when the other spouse no longer has to pay spousal support.   The court can also reserve jurisdiction to determine the termination date in the future depending on circumstances at that time.  If the order is for permanent spousal support, then the support will end either when one of the two parties dies or when the party receiving spousal support remarries, or when the supported or supporting party proves a substantial change in circumstances to warrant an increase, decrease, or termination of spousal support.  Courts will usually accept a negotiated agreement of the parties as to the amount and duration of spousal support, and whether it is modifiable in the future or not.

Going through divorce proceedings are emotionally draining enough on their own.  All of the other considerations that come along with divorce and legal separation  involve significant levels of skill and focus that many people find difficult to utilize during that time.  Because of this, you need to find a local Sonoma County family attorney who can understand your needs and accomplish your goals in court.  Contact the office Charles D. Stark for assistance from a skilled legal professional.

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