Attorney for Getting Spousal Support in Ventura, CA Superior Court
After a divorce or separation, you may be entitled to receive ongoing spousal support payments to help you return to financial independence. In many cases, the support payments may be necessary to help pay for housing or other expenses while you seek education or job training, or if you have a disability or health condition that requires additional financial support.
If you are going through a divorce or separation in California, contact the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth’s spousal support attorneys. Our lawyers can help you get spousal support to help you pay for expenses after separating from your spouse. To schedule a free legal consultation with our attorneys, call our law offices today at (805) 585-5056.
Seeking Spousal Support in Superior Court in California
Superior Courts in California are the trial level court. These courts have “general jurisdiction,” meaning that they handle cases for any regular legal issues, as opposed to courts with specialized jurisdiction on certain subjects or types of cases. These are the courts that hear many family law cases, including divorce, child custody, child support, and alimony (a.k.a., spousal support) cases.
When you petition a Superior Court for alimony, the court has the power to award you periodic spousal support payments to help support you after a divorce or separation. Whenever you start living apart from your spouse as one of the steps toward divorce or legal separation, the Superior Court judge makes the decision of whether to award you alimony payments from your ex-spouse and what amount to set for these payments.
Alimony can be acquired even before a divorce is finalized. If you seek alimony while the divorce is in progress or while you are separated, this may be called “alimony pendente lite.” In addition to this alimony, you can seek temporary alimony for a short time after the divorce, permanent alimony if you need ongoing help, or rehabilitative alimony to pay you back for expenses you incurred during the marriage.
Alimony is also available in cases of abuse or domestic violence. Abuse victims should always call the police if they are in immediate danger, but they may need to file in court to seek a restraining order against their spouse or significant other. This order can kick the significant other out of the house, during which time you can petition the court for alimony to support you in their absence.
Alimony and Spousal Support Factors in CA
When a Superior Court judge examines your case, they will first decide whether alimony is appropriate in your case. Next, they will determine how much alimony you need and order your spouse to pay that amount, typically on a monthly basis. California Family Code § 4320 has multiple factors the court should consider when making these spousal support decisions:
- Each party’s earning capacity – if one party makes significantly less money than the other, the higher earner may be asked to pay spousal support
- Each party’s skills and job skills – if one party needs job training or education before they can support themselves, alimony can be used in the meantime
- How unemployment during the marriage affects job opportunities – if one party was a stay-at-home spouse, their period of unemployment may make it harder to find a job after divorce
- Either party’s contribution to education or training – if one spouse worked to support the other in pursuit of a professional license or degree, the spouse that benefitted may owe the other financially
- The payor’s ability to pay – this looks not only at earning capacity but also the ability to retain their standard of living
- The standard of living attained during the marriage – a spouse should not have to trade their standard of living for the freedom of a divorce
- Each party’s assets and debts – this goes to the ability to pay and support oneself
- The length of the marriage – people become set in their ways after long marriages, and a non-working spouse cannot as easily return to work
- How child care affects your ability to work – if you get custody of the children, you may be unable to work full time; alimony payments can supplement your income
- Each party’s age and health – an older or disabled spouse may need additional care and support
- A history of domestic violence – a victim of violence or abuse might receive higher alimony
- “Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable” – courts are not limited by this list of factors and can look beyond
If you believe you might be entitled to alimony or spousal support, contact an attorney today to learn more about how to file for support in your local Superior Court in California.
Call Our California Spousal Support Attorneys for a Free Legal Consultation
If you are considering seeking alimony after a divorce or legal separation, contact the Ventura alimony lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today. Our attorneys can help you file for divorce and get the spousal support you need. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact us today at (805) 585-5056.