Spousal Support Lawyers Ventura, California
If you’re navigating a divorce in Ventura or any other part of California, you likely have questions either about receiving or paying spousal support. To resolve these issues, it can prove particularly helpful to obtain the assistance of a skilled family law attorney.
At Land Legal Group, our lawyers have a nuanced understanding of the various factors considered by family courts when assessing whether or not to award spousal support as well as how much support to award.
If you’re a former spouse who is seeking support, it’s critical to have a lawyer who knows how to review the evidence in your case and make sure that you present the strongest case possible to receive support.
California Spousal Support Laws
Many people are surprised to learn that spousal support is not commonly awarded. Data reveals that only 10% to 15% of divorces lead to an obligation to pay spousal support.
When couples either divorce or separate in California, courts sometimes require one spouse to pay the other a specific amount of money regularly. Often, the payment referred to as alimony or spousal support must be made monthly.
Spouses or former spouses can request that the court order the payment of support in situations involving legal separation, divorce, annulment, or domestic violence restraining orders. These payments are made under temporary spousal support orders or temporary partner support orders. When divorces or separations are deemed final by a court, the relevant order is made for either long-term or permanent support.
In Ventura as well as many other California courts, many judges rely on a formula to determine the amount of temporary spousal support that is owed. When making a support order, judges sometimes do more than just apply a formula, however. In these situations, judges consider each of the factors enumerated in the California Family Code’s section 4320. Some of the factors that judges consider include:
- The duration of the partnership or marriage
- The needs of each individual based on their standard of living during the relationship
- The amount that each person can afford to pay to uphold this standard of living
- Whether part or full-time employment would make it difficult for a parent to care for the parent’s children
- The age of each person
- The health of each person
- The assets and debts of both individuals
- Whether one spouse helped the other receive an education, training, or professional license
- Whether the relationship involved domestic violence
- Whether one person’s career was impacted by unemployment or the need to take care of the couple’s children
- The federal as well as state impact of spousal support
You can agree on the amount as well as the frequency of payment. While you might stipulate terms on your own, you might decide instead to utilize a family law facilitator or mediator through a process referred to as stipulation.
Before you reach a final agreement, you should appreciate your rights as well as your options. You should also avoid letting yourself be coerced into accepting less than what you deserve or paying more than what is required by the law. If your former spouse has hired an attorney to navigate spousal support issues, this is often a good sign that you should consider retaining a lawyer too.
After reaching an agreement, it can be put into an order that a judge can sign so that it’s later enforceable.
If your marriage or relationship lasted for less than 10 years, spousal support will be presumed to be required for not any longer than half the length of the marriage. If a marriage lasted over 10 years, courts often do not set a specific termination for spousal support at the time the issue is decided. This does not always mean, however, that lifetime support will be required.
You can request that the court terminate spousal support if your former spouse becomes self-supporting.
Remember, California is classified as a “no-fault” state. This means that a family court in California will not take into consideration things like adultery when awarding spousal support. Domestic abuse, however, can play a role in awarding spousal support. If the paying spouse committed domestic abuse, this can result in the recipient receiving a greater amount.
The Discontinuation of Spousal Support in California
An individual paying support is required to retire at the age of 65. This means that the individual cannot be required to work beyond this age to support a spouse. A person paying support who is forced to take early retirement can sometimes seek a court order permitting support payments to stop. Besides reaching the age of 65, spousal support often ends when an individual receiving support either remarries or enters a new domestic partnership. While some people claim that former spouses intentionally avoid work, there’s nothing that a person can do to force a spouse to take a job. It is possible, however, to request that a court lower the support amount if a former spouse is not taking steps to obtain employment.
Modifications to Spousal Support
People also often ask about paying spousal support if they make less money than their partner. In situations where an individual’s financial situation changes due to loss of job, a reduction in hours, or switching to a job that pays less, it’s possible to request that a court modify a spousal support order. It’s critical to request a modification as soon as your situation changes.
At Land Legal Group, our family law firm in Ventura, CA also focuses on the following practice areas:
- Same-Sex Divorce
- Child Custody
- Prenuptial Agreement
- Grandparents Rights
- Fathers Rights
- Domestic Violence
- Children’s Law
- Child Support
- Dependency Law
Contact Our Ventura Spousal Support Lawyers Today For a Consultation
If you have questions or concerns about spousal support, you should not hesitate to contact Land Legal Group today to schedule a case evaluation. Our experienced Ventura family law attorneys can meet with you to discuss your situation as well as review the best possible outcome in your case. Our lawyers understand that spousal support can be nuanced. Remember, you greatly increase your chances of receiving the compensation that you deserve by retaining an experienced family law attorney.