Issues influencing spousal support in Orange County CA can vary greatly. Spousal support also known as Alimony is designed to help the dependent spouse move on with their lives. The termination of ones marriage is extremely emotionally painful for most couples and their families. Moreover, many dependent spouses worry about their future financial situation, now that they will no longer have the major contributor in their lives.
For instance, I had stay home spouses go through divorces where their husband or wife owned a business and prior to retaining us they were virtually penny less after moving way from their home. Some packed their bags and children to escape abuse. While others just wanted out of the relationship at all cost. Many were not ready for the work force and were clueless as how they were going to make it on their own.
Nevertheless, they found themselves in our office seeking counsel and wanting to know what their legal rights were and what support they are entitled to. My answer to them goes something like this:
California is a no-fault state and either spouse can obtain support. The support will vary from case to case and the particulars in the divorce. Therefore your alimony will depend on several things.
Here is a brief list of things the family law courts will take into account before they award alimony.
- Does your spouse have the means to pay after the net income is calculated? Does your spouse earn enough to support two households? Courts cannot make individuals work more than 40 hours per week to support two households. I have seen judges refusing to force anyone from working over 40 hours per week. In other words this means no overtime or second jobs imposed by the courts.
- What is the potential ability of each to earn: The amount and/or length of alimony may be affected by ones capability to earn income.
- Ability to find employment: The Courts will look at the spouse’s employment skills and capability to work. I have seen courts impose the minimum wage on spouses. In other words, I have heard judges instruct the spouse to go flip burgers if that was all they were able to do. Some support may be temporary while the spouse finds work. Courts do not like it when able individuals refuse to work if there is no reasonable explanation.
- Is your marriage a short or long term marriage? The magic number here is 10. Ten year marriages are considered long term. However, I have seen judges consider some marriages long term if they were within a few months of reaching the 10 years. I have had spouses contact me once they reached the 10 years in the marriage. It appears that they bit the bullet until they reach the 10 year mark in order to take full advantage of the law. Smart choice, but I would not recommend this approach for every case. Especially those involving domestic violence.
- What was the standard of living during marriage: The courts will try to continue a similar living standard.
- Possible compensation for educational and/or Emotional support: If you helped put your spouse through school and/or open a business, In other words if sacrificed yourselves in ensuring that your spouse became financially successful, the courts may consider your sacrifices and grant you support for your earlier contributions.
- The best interest of the Children: The custodial parent may not have the option of working due to the age of the child. However this will need to be explored by the courts.
In conclusion, each alimony case is different; therefore, to best address your particulars, please feel free to call us to schedule a free no obligation consultation in Orange County CA. To learn more about the wide range of services our family law firm offers in Orange County please explore my website.