Fresno Spousal Support Lawyer Helping You With Your Spousal or Partner Support Case
When a couple divorces or separates, sometimes one partner needs financial help from their ex-spouse or partner. This is called “spousal support” or “partner support” if the couple was not married. You may have heard it referred to as “alimony.” Issues surrounding spousal support are some of the most difficult in divorce or separation situations. In order to establish spousal support, there must be a court case. Temporary spousal support refers to support that is paid while the case is ongoing.
Permanent or long-term spousal support refers to support that is ordered to be paid after the divorce is final. This does not mean that spousal support always goes on forever, though. Often, the length of time that spousal support must be paid is limited. This is different for each case, however, and sometimes spousal support is granted for life. An experienced spousal support lawyer from Bains Law Offices can help you to sort out your spousal support issues and help your case come to the best possible conclusion. Call our Fresno office today at 559-890-1007 to get started.
How is the Amount of Spousal Support Calculated in California?
For temporary spousal or partner support, the court will generally follow its local guidelines, and each county or jurisdiction may be slightly different. At the end of the case, however, the state guidelines for long-term spousal support require that the judge take certain factors into account when calculating the proper amount of support.
These factors include things like the length of the marriage, the funds it will take to maintain the standard of living that each partner had during the marriage or partnership, whether it would be a hardship for the custodial parent to work while caring for children, age and health of each partner, and what debts and property each partner might have. In addition, questions such as whether one spouse or partner gave up or limited a career to care for home and children or helped the other with education or training will be considered. Domestic violence within the marriage or partnership is also a factor. Each situation is different and spousal maintenance amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Are There Other Factors That a Judge Will Consider?
Some other factors that will play into a judge’s decision on whether to award spousal support and in what amount include each person’s marketable skills and ability to earn enough money to maintain their accustomed lifestyle, time or expense that will be necessary for education or training to increase those marketable skills, and the extent to which each partner’s career was interrupted by home and childcare duties.
For example, a parent who quit their job as an investment banker to stay home and take care of children has interrupted their career in a way that may make it difficult for them to return to investment banking due to their long absence from the field. A judge in such a case might award spousal support to that person permanently, to make up for the time lost and the inability to go back to the earlier career, or the judge might award spousal support just long enough for that person to get training and education needed either to return to their previous career or start a new one. The person’s age will be a definite factor here, as the earning capacity of a 35-year-old returning to the work force is quite different than that of a 65-year-old.
How Long Does Spousal or Partner Support Last?
There is no set formula for how long a spousal support award will continue. One of the main factors the judge will consider is the length of the marriage. While the goal of spousal support is generally to give one partner time to get on their feet and gain the ability to support themselves, sometimes longer marriages lead to spousal support without an end date.
California guidelines state that spousal support should continue for “a reasonable length of time” which is up to the judge to define. In the case of what is considered a long-term marriage—usually 10 years or more—it is more likely, but still not guaranteed, that the spousal support term will not have a set end date. As you can see, the factors that go into awarding or denying spousal support and defining the terms if it is awarded are quite complex. The Bains Law Offices have skilled and knowledgeable spousal support lawyers at the ready to help you in your spousal support case. Call us today at 559-890-1007.
What if There Was Domestic Violence in the Marriage or Partnership?
When the partner who was abused has documented evidence of the domestic violence, the judge can consider the victim’s pain and emotional suffering when determining whether to issue a spousal support order. In California, there is a general assumption against the victim paying spousal support to the abuser, but this can still be argued in court. In cases of divorce or separation that include domestic violence, the knowledge of an experienced spousal support attorney is crucial to reaching the best outcome.