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Under What Circumstances Can You Get Alimony ...

Under What Circumstances Can You Get Alimony ...

When a couple gets divorced, the court may order alimony or spousal support.  If one of the spouses needs additional economic support, alimony can help them on a temporary basis or as part of an ongoing support system.  However, your economic situation might change after divorce, and the factors used to decide how much alimony to grant might not be the same months or years after the divorce.  The Santa Barbara divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth discuss some of the ways you can get alimony changed after a California divorce.  For a free legal consultation on your case, call our law offices today. Reasons a Court Will Change Spousal Support Payments Section 3651 of the California Family Code authorizes a court to modify or terminate a spousal support order “at any time as the court determines to be necessary.”  This gives the court wide latitude to change support orders when either side presents the court with a good reason to change the order. Typically, courts will look for changes to the initial alimony factors that the court uses to make alimony decisions.  Courts typically look at a series of factors such as the parties’ health, income, marketable job skills, time spent caring for minor children, and other factors that affect how much money they have and their ability to work.  When the court sets spousal support, they will use these factors to justify their decision.  If these factors change, the court’s reasoning behind the support order will also change, and the court should modify the spousal support order. Typical reasons someone might want...
Can a Wife Ask for Spousal Support/Maintenanc...

Can a Wife Ask for Spousal Support/Maintenanc...

After a divorce, either spouse may find themselves suddenly without the support of their husband or wife.  Many couples rely on continued spousal support, maintenance, or alimony payments to cover the cost of housing, groceries, utilities, and other necessities while they look for a new job or try to get back on their feet.  In some cases, these payments start after the divorce is finalized, but there are many ways to get alimony or spousal support before the divorce is finished or without ever filing for divorce.  The Santa Barbara alimony lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth discuss how wives in California can ask for alimony before divorce in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and throughout the state.  Getting Alimony Before a Divorce is Final When you and your spouse file for divorce, you might begin your separate lives immediately.  California divorces have a 6-month waiting period, during which time the spouses can continue to live together as a married couple or separate themselves and start living apart.  When they live separately, one spouse may be unable to afford housing or the cost of an attorney to continue with the divorce case.  To help alleviate those burdens, courts can order alimony pendente lite.  Alimony pendente lite is alimony paid while litigation (the divorce case) is still pending.  This kind of alimony can be paid up until the time the divorce is finalized, even if the divorce case gets delayed or the waiting period ends up being longer than 6-months.  Alimony pendente lite is not necessary in every case, but courts are often willing to order these payments to wives who need them, especially in situations where the spouse may have cut off the wife’s access to finances or bank accounts.  Getting Alimony...
How Much Does It Cost to File for Divorce in ...

How Much Does It Cost to File for Divorce in ...

To get a divorce in California, you must file your case with the court.  Nearly any case you can file with the court requires a filing fee and other potential fees to have the court take your case.  These filing fees are generally higher than the fees for a marriage license, which makes it harder to get divorced than it does to get married.  The Santa Barbara divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth discuss how much it costs to file for divorce in California and what other costs you might face in your divorce case. How Much is the Divorce Filing Fee in California? The fee to file for divorce in California is $435 as of the writing of this article.  Generally, this means that you will pay $435 at the time that you file your paperwork with the court.  To respond to a divorce case, you also have to file $435, which means that the court gets a total of $870 from you and your spouse. In some counties, this fee might be higher because of local rules and requirements.  For instance, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Francisco’s courthouses are under construction according to the fee schedule, so court filing fees have been increased a bit to help support that project.  From time to time other circumstances may allow a county to increase its filing fees, or additional local filing fees might mean the filing fee is slightly higher. Who Pays the Filing Fee for a Divorce Case in California? As mentioned above, the party who files the initial divorce petition pays the...

How Can You Avoid or Reduce Potential Alimony...

Alimony is often one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce case.  Media and pop culture have always given the image that alimony is something that everyone dreads paying; however, the truth of the matter is that many spouses need alimony after a divorce because they cannot support themselves.  Still, it may seem unfair for one spouse to support the other after ending the marriage, especially if there were serious relationship issues at the end of the marriage.  The Santa Barbara divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain some of the ways that you may be able to avoid paying alimony or reduce your alimony burden when getting divorced in California. Ways to Avoid Alimony in California Many couples expect alimony or spousal support when they get divorced.  If one spouse makes more money than the other or was solely responsible for the family’s income, their spouse might expect or demand alimony, but courts should only give in to those demands when a claim for alimony is justified. Courts look at many factors when deciding whether to grant spousal support.  The California Family Code gives multiple factors that the court should look at in each case, including the following: Each spouse’s income, assets, and debts Each spouse’s physical health and age Each spouse’s training, education, and experience that could lead to a job Each spouse’s ability to work while caring for young children The length of the marriage The standard of living and lifestyle of the spouses during the marriage Courts tend to try to use alimony to allow a transition period, favoring...
How Long Must You Be Married Before You Pay A...

How Long Must You Be Married Before You Pay A...

After a divorce, spouses go from being a married couple that might act as one financial unit to being two separate people, financially.  Many spouses have trouble adapting to this, especially if they are used to their spouse’s income supplementing their finances or supporting them entirely.  When a marriage is especially long, it can be even more difficult to recover from this financial dependence, and you may need spousal support to help you stand on your own.  The length of the marriage is one of the major factors that courts look at when deciding whether a spouse should get alimony or spousal support after marriage, but there is no minimum marriage length for alimony.  Moreover, the length of the marriage is not the defining factor, and even long marriages may not justify spousal support in every case.  The Santa Barbara divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth explain. Is There a Minimum Marriage Length for Spousal Support in California? California law lists a number of alimony factors that the court should use when determining whether to grant alimony, how much alimony to grant, and how long the alimony should last.  These factors have no hard and fast rules, but courts generally tend to use the length of the marriage as one of the main factors to make these spousal support decisions. Courts often split marriages into short-term and long-term marriages, with the cut-off point being 10 years.  Short-term marriages might get temporary alimony, but long-term marriages can often get permanent alimony or short term alimony.  In short-term marriages, courts typically give alimony for no longer...
Is Dating During Separation During a Divorce ...

Is Dating During Separation During a Divorce ...

Cheating on your spouse can be a serious accusation.  Adultery during a divorce can make interactions with your spouse harder and hurt negotiations and settlement discussions.  The legal effects of adultery in California may not be as serious as the effects in some other states, but they can still affect your divorce case.  The definition of adultery is often hazy.  Our Santa Barbara divorce lawyers discuss the definition of adultery and whether dating during separation is considered adultery in California.  For a free legal consultation on your case, contact the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today. Definition of Adultery in California Adultery is often defined vaguely.  Some may agree that adultery means having a sexual affair while married, while others might draw the line at kissing or flirting.  In some relationships, especially open marriages, adultery may be a non-issue if the spouses have agreed to allow other relationships or trysts. In many cases, proving adultery is difficult because it is very hard to know what goes on between two people behind closed doors.  However, if you can get photographs of the spouse and their paramour together, text messages between the two, or an admission from either party, proving adultery can be easier. Can You Date After Filing for Divorce? In a California divorce case, there is always a 6-month waiting period.  Once you file for divorce, you must wait at least 6 months before your court date.  Many cases will actually take longer since the court schedule may be crowded or you may need multiple court dates before your case can be finalized.  During that waiting period,...
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