California Spousal Support Basics

If you’ve just started researching California spousal support basics (or, if you need a refresher), this article will get you started in the right direction. However, if you need specific advice about your individual situation, it’s likely in your best interests to consult with a qualified family law attorney. In the meantime, it will help you to know…

Spousal Support is NOT Automatic

In California, spousal support is not automatic. If you need it, you must ask for it.

After you file your petition for dissolution (initial divorce papers), file your request for temporary spousal support immediately. If you don’t, you may miss out on several months of payments.

In addition, when you consult with your family law attorney, be sure to let him or her know if you want to explore permanent spousal support.

Written by Robert S. Kamin. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Changes in Spousal Support: When and How it’s Done

OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA – Going through a divorce is never a pleasant experience. Being forced to pay alimony to your former spouse can be an unpleasant monthly reminder of the chapter you’ve fought to close. But continuing to pay alimony to a former spouse who’s moved on and is being supported by someone else? That is like rubbing salt in a wound for some.
Recently we’ve had a couple of clients who found themselves in this situation and we’re happy to report that the outcome for our clients was favorable. We successfully reduced the amount of spousal support they were required to pay. But these scenarios raise some common questions, which we’re addressing in this article.

Written by John Griffith. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

The Effect of Family Violence on Spousal Support in Texas

The Texas Family Code states that a person is entitled to receive spousal maintenance if the person can prove that the other spouse was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for a criminal offense that constitutes family violence. The act of family violence has to have been committed against the other spouse or a child of the other spouse and the act of family violence has to have been committed during the marriage within than two years before filing for divorce or while the divorce action was pending.
An interesting question was posed regarding this provision of the statute; “Does the act of family violence have to have occurred during the two years preceding the divorce or does the spouse have to have been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for family violence within two years prior to filing for divorce?”

Written by Katie Lewis. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Understanding Spousal Support

In North America, it’s the judge’s place to decide how the marital assets should be divided. By closely examining the assets of each spouse, the judge can determine if spousal support should be paid – and by whom. In some cases, the assets may generate sufficient income that either no spousal support is necessary or it can be reduced.
Each state has guidelines to calculate spousal support. However, they are generally just that – guidelines. Whether or not spousal support should be awarded is up to the discretion of the judge. The judge can also decide the amount of spousal support and the period of time that it should be paid. In Canada, there are no such guidelines: a judge decides whether or not spousal support should be paid, as well as the amount and duration.

Written by Nancy Kurn. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Is spousal support based on a gender bias?

Late last month an article in the Huffington Post raised an interesting issue about spousal support. For those who are unfamiliar with family law, spousal support refers to payments made by a higher-earning spouse to a lesser-earning spouse after the marriage ends in divorce.
Also known as alimony, spousal support can be ordered for a temporary or permanent length of time and often depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage and the earning potential of both spouses.
Historically, men have more frequently been ordered to pay spousal support to their ex-wives, but under the law, either spouse can be ordered to pay spousal support to an ex.
As social norms have changed in recent decades, many women now earn more than their husbands and many fathers are choosing to stay at home to raise their children, meaning that more men could be entitled to spousal support. But as the Huffington Post article pointed out, very few men currently ask for spousal support.

Written by Jerald A. Kessler. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Spousal Support and Bankruptcy

The dissolution of a marriage or civil union can be a very emotionally draining time for any family and may also come with serious financial consequences for the individuals involved. In some cases, individuals may be required to pay support to their spouse, children, and other dependents following divorce. In addition, there may be court and lawyer’s fees that must be paid following the legal proceedings.

Persons who go through divorce may have to assess their financial situation following their separation from their former spouse. If a person is facing serious financial struggles, he or she may consider filing for bankruptcy to relieve the burden of debt from his or her life. Although there are many types of debts that may be discharged through bankruptcy, support payments to spouses and children are not dischargeable debts.

Written by Bankruptcy man. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

California Spousal Support and Domestic Violence

We all know California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. However, you may be surprised that there are certain areas of divorce and family where fault is actually a factor. A domestic violence conviction and its effect on California spousal support is one of those areas.

In a divorce case where a spouse has been convicted of an act of domestic violence against the other spouse within 5 years prior to the dissolution proceeding (typically with a petition for dissolution) being filed or any time after that, there is a “rebuttable presumption” that the convicted spouse should not receive a spousal support award.

Some of you may have said, “wow”.

Wow is right but don’t confuse the word rebuttable with “conclusive.”

Written by B. ROBERT FARZAD. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Spousal Support, Does It Ever End

There is a presumption in California Law that a marriage of ten years is deemed to be a long term marriage. In some instances, marriages of shorter duration have also been found to be a marriage of long duration. The significance of this finding is found in Family Code, Section 4336, which states:

“Except on written agreement of the parties to the contrary or a court order terminating spousal support, the court retains jurisdiction indefinitely in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties where the marriage is of long duration.”

Let us say that the Judgment of Dissolution states that Husband would pay $2,000 per month for a period of sixty months for spousal support and that the support would “terminate forever and no court shall have any jurisdiction to extend this award of spousal support either as to the amount or duration after said date.”

Prior to the expiration of this sixty month term, wife filed an application to extend spousal support beyond the sixty months. Wife argued that the agreement entered into previously implicitly authorized continuing jurisdiction of the court to modify support so long as the request was made before the end of the sixty month time period. As might be expected, the trial court rejected Wife’s argument stating that the agreement was explicit enough in that it did not have jurisdiction to continue the payments.

Written by James P. Reape. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Impacts of Remarriage on Child and Spousal Support

Child Support

The traditional view of child support is that parents share in support of children. Child support guidelines take into account monthly obligations of custodial parents and payments made by non-custodial parents to custodial parents’ households. Upon remarriage, this traditional view maintains that the new spouse’s income is not included in child support calculations, though there are some exceptions.

Some states, such as California, take into account a new spouse’s income when making child support payment determinations only in extraordinary cases. Extraordinary cases are defined as unemployment, underemployment, income reduction, and/or other reliance upon a new spouse’s income. In extraordinary instances, it must be proved that children would suffer extreme hardship without imputing income of the new spouse.

The reason for this exclusion is that the new spouse has no legal obligation for the financial support of stepchildren. It is true that the new spouse’s income assists the household and may help meet needs of children on a voluntary basis. But there is no legal duty for this income to be imputed into support calculations.

Some states have evolved from this traditional view. The result is a complication of child support calculations upon remarriage of either parent.

In Illinois, courts may now consider income of a parent’s new spouse on an equitable basis when determining child support. In Illinois and similarly-minded states, courts are no longer required to ignore financial resources contributed by a new spouse. Instead, Illinois courts are free to give consideration to whether new children are brought into the household through remarriage, the ability of one to support himself, and contributions for health insurance, health expenses, daycare, and other discretionary factors.

Another factor potentially affecting child support payments as a result of remarriage by the non-custodial parent is the addition of children to the non-custodial parent’s household. The requirement to make child support payments does not disappear, but monthly payments may decrease with more children to support.

Written by To read the full article, click here.