Sonoma Spousal Maintenance Basics

Commonly known across the country as alimony, spousal maintenance in California often becomes an issue of contention between couples when the marriage ends. A determination of spousal support affects both parties’ finances in the immediate and distant future. Under California law, a list of factors are used to determine whether or not a spouse is eligible for spousal maintenance.

If you or someone you know is facing divorce in California and has questions about spousal maintenance – or any other family-law related matters – contact a skilled Tempe spousal maintenance attorney today to learn about your rights under the law.

Factors to Consider

In its California revised statutes, the state has established several factors that should be considered when a court is determining spousal support. This list of factors allows a court to grant spousal support if it is required by at least one factor, but no one factor automatically disqualifies a spouse from receiving spousal maintenance.  

A California court will first look to see if the requesting spouse is entitled to spousal maintenance. Factors that may contribute to a favorable decision include the requesting spouse’s: lack of sufficient property – including property distributed to the spouse – to provide for his or her reasonable needs; inability to be self-sufficient through employment, lack of earning ability in the labor market or position as the custodian of a child whose age or condition is such that he or she should not seek employment; contribution to the educational or opportunities of the other spouse; or age at the time of divorce and the length of marriage, which may preclude the ability to be self-sufficient. If a prenuptial agreement is in place, this will also be factored into the decision-making process.

When determining the amount of spousal support, the court will deem the amount and duration of the maintenance without regard to marital misconduct. Some factors considered include:

  • Duration of the marriage;
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage;
  • Age, earning ability, employment history, as well as physical and emotional well-being of the requesting spouse;
  • The ability of both spouses to contribute to their mutual children’s future educational costs after the divorce;
  • Contributions of the seeking spouse to the other spouse’s earning ability; and
  • Any excessive or abnormal expenditures, concealment destruction or fraudulent disposition of marital assets.

Legal Help in Sonoma County

California couples getting married or those facing divorce should contact an experienced Sonoma County spousal maintenance or alimony attorney to learn about rights and obligations that come with a marital relationship. The legal professionals at Charles D. Stark Attorney and Counselor at Law have years of experience in family law and guide their clients every step of the way. Call 707-527-9900 today to schedule your initial consultation.

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