SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Westlake Village Spousal Support Lawyer

Only rarely will divorcing spouses have roughly equal capacity for generating income and independently maintaining the marital standard of living. In California, spousal support (alimony) can be awarded by the court to address any number of situations, such as allowing the supported spouse to acquire additional education or job skill training, or to relocate. The need for permanent support based on a long-term marriage and lack of substantial employment experience.

Understand Your Rights on Either Side of a Spousal Support Question in Divorce

Spousal support orders are not mandatory. In fact, the court has discretion, within statutory guidelines, to deny spousal support or limit the amount and duration. Spousal support issues are highly sensitive to the facts and circumstances of each unique family situation, and can be hotly contested. To work with a lawyer who knows how to focus the issues and use the details of your case to strengthen your position, contact the Law Office of Jacqueline Y. Blade in Westlake Village.

Temporary spousal support serves a completely different purpose from permanent support awarded in a Judgment. Factors that control permanent support are not controlling in a temporary award, except where a spouse has been convicted of domestic violence against the other spouse. The propriety of temporary support is based broadly on the supported spouse's need and the supporting spouse's ability to pay.

Permanent spousal support orders must reflect all of the statutory circumstances relevant to your particular case. A starting point in approaching the process must begin with the general premise that if awarded, the amount and duration must be based on the standard of living established during the marriage. The court may also consider the supported spouse's earning capacity, which is the same standard that applies to earning capacity in awarding child support

The length of the marriage has an impact on the need for support, the amount and the duration. California Family Code Section 4336(a)) states that where there is a marriage is "of long duration," the court "retains jurisdiction" indefinitely after the divorce is completed, unless the spouses agree otherwise. Retaining jurisdiction means that the court has the authority to continue making decisions about matters between the spouses, and can reevaluate its original orders and modify them if the facts justify a change. Any marriage that is longer than ten years is considered to be "of long duration," and sometimes, shorter marriages can be considered lengthy as well. Except in marriages of long duration, spousal support may be awarded for a reasonable period of time, or "half length of marriage standard."

When you work with our law firm, you will be working with an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about the challenges inherent in spousal support issues. Creative solutions are sought out in order to avoid costly litigation expenses or ongoing animosity between the divorcing spouses.

Factors That the Court Considers in Spousal Support Awards

If you are unable to resolve your spousal support issue informally by agreement, understanding how the court would determine a spousal support award is essential. The specific circumstances the court must consider in determining a spousal support order are found in Family Code Section 4320 as follows:

  • > Ability to maintain the marital standard of living in light of earning capacities;
  • > Marketable skills, job market and time required for education and training;
  • > Impaired earning capacity from devoting time to domestic duties;
  • > Contributions to the other spouse's education, professional status or career advancement;
  • > Supporting spouse's present ability to pay;
  • > Supported spouse's needs, resources and obligations;
  • > Length of the marriage;
  • > Any history of domestic violence between the spouses

Our law firm's ability to analyze the facts of your case is a powerful advantage toward a prompt and favorable resolution of the support issues likely to arise in your divorce.

Strategic Considerations Related to Spousal Support and Property Division

In many cases, spousal support and property division issues are negotiated or litigated at the same time. Concessions on one side of this equation can often lead to better results on the other. It is important to keep in mind that the support of a spouse is always subject to modification based on changed circumstances, while community property settlement agreements, with few exceptions, cannot be amended later.

Job security, future income or economic conditions may complicate your need for support or your ability to pay it, and you may be well advised to negotiate property division and alimony arrangements with these uncertainties in mind. Whether this means a higher spousal support payment or a greater share of the community property in your case is a question to discuss with an attorney who knows how to coordinate sound negotiating and trial strategies on these crucially important issues.

Consult With a Ventura County and West Los Angeles Spousal Support Attorney

Find out more about the ways Westlake Village spousal support attorney Jacqueline Y. Blade can protect and advance your interests on either side of a spousal support issue in Southern California. For additional information, contact our office by e-mail or phone: 805-496-2311 in Ventura County, or Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills, and West Los Angeles.