After a divorce or legal separation, courts can order one spouse to pay the other “alimony.” This is the traditional name for spousal support or partner support payments made directly to the other spouse to pay for basic support needs like food and shelter. If you were married for a long time or have disabilities or health conditions that make it hard to support yourself, you may be entitled to ongoing support that can help you after divorce. Even for shorter marriages and healthy spouses, you could be entitled to temporary support payments to help you get back on your feet after a divorce.
If you are considering filing for divorce in the Oxnard area, talk to an attorney about alimony and spousal support in your case. You may need ongoing and temporary spousal support to help you return to financial independence after divorce or separation, and our Oxnard alimony lawyers may be able to help. Contact The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today at (805) 585-5056 for a free consultation on your alimony case.
Who Gets Alimony After a California Divorce?
Spouses and domestic partners may ask the court to order alimony or spousal support during any proceedings that make it difficult for the spouse to get support for themselves. For instance, when you file for divorce, you may move out of the house and begin living separately, immediately. This can mean losing the roof over your head and needing to pay for your own housing, utilities, groceries, and other needs, right away. Spousal support can be issued to help you deal with these costs after a divorce, but you can also seek alimony during divorce or legal separation proceedings, annulment proceedings, and while there is a domestic violence restraining order in place.
Alimony is typically paid to the spouse that has less income and financial security. In the example of a couple where one spouse works and the other is a homemaker, the working spouse would likely pay the homemaker alimony. In cases where both spouses work, whichever spouse makes less money could be entitled to some amount of temporary alimony.
To get alimony, you must prove to a court that you need it. The court has many rules and factors they look at when deciding whether alimony is necessary, including:
- How long the marriage lasted;
- Each party’s needs to meet the standard of living they were used to during the marriage;
- Each spouse’s ability to pay to meet that standard of living;
- The effect of working on a spouse’s ability to raise children;
- Each party’s age and health;
- Each party’s assets and debts;
- The help either party provided in paying for the other’s education, job training, or professional license;
- The tax impacts of alimony.
Courts commonly work to maintain the lifestyle and standard of living that the parties were used to during the marriage. This is an important goal because it means that people usually have no need to stay in an abusive situation or unhappy marriage just to maintain the lifestyle they are accustomed to; spousal support can help you continue that standard of living after your divorce. However, courts do also expect that both parties will eventually support themselves, and many support orders may only last long enough for the recipient to find a job or get training or education if it has been a while since they were a part of the workforce.
How is Spousal Support Calculated in CA?
Your local court’s rules may dictate how to calculate alimony for temporary orders. This means it is important to take your case to a local lawyer familiar with the rules in your area. The Oxnard alimony lawyers at Bamieh and De Smeth handle cases in Oxnard and the surrounding areas, meaning we can work with local rules to help maximize your alimony.
After a divorce or the end of your domestic partnership is finalized, your alimony order should become part of your final divorce order. The rules for calculating these orders are the same throughout the state and depend primarily on the factors listed above. Those factors are not only used to determine whether the court should order alimony but also to determine the amount. The standard of living (e.g., housing costs) and each party’s income are particularly important factors.
Courts can also reassess their orders and recalculate spousal support amounts. If there are material and substantial changes in either spouse’s situation that affect these alimony factors, alimony orders can change. For instance, if the payor loses their job or the recipient gets a higher-paying job than the payor, alimony may no longer be possible or logical. The courts can accept petitions to change alimony, so discuss your case with an attorney if you think you deserve more alimony or you think you should be paying less support.
Oxnard Alimony Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you are considering filing for divorce, are going through a legal separation, or are filing for a domestic abuse restraining order, talk to an attorney about receiving alimony or spousal support today. Many of these orders are temporary, but they can become part of a permanent, ongoing support order that can help provide for your needs. For a free consultation on your case, contact our Oxnard alimony lawyers today at The Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth. Our number is (805) 585-5056.