When a couple divorces, it is not uncommon for one spouse to pay alimony to the other. However, there are many common misconceptions surrounding these payments. While some believe only wives can request alimony, others assume that these are solely based on the financial needs of the other spouse. Though this plays a large part in determining how much alimony payments are, other factors are also considered. The following blog explores what you must know about these payments and why you should enlist the help of Los Angeles spousal support attorneys.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony payments, also called spousal support or spousal maintenance, are paid to one spouse who may be unable to support themselves or makes a lower income than their spouse once they are divorced from their partner. The goal of alimony is to help the spouse who makes lower or no income live the lifestyle they enjoyed while married to their spouse.
Traditionally, women would leave their careers to stay home and raise children while their husbands continued to work. Alimony was used as a way to ensure women who gave up career opportunities had the means to take care of themselves. However, men and women alike can request and receive alimony payments.
What Factors Influence How Much Alimony Payments Are?
There are many factors the California courts will take into consideration when awarding spousal support to one party. It can be challenging to estimate how much spousal support someone will receive, as each case is different and left to the discretion of the judge assigned to the case.
In California, the law considers the following factors:
- The length of the marriage
- The earning capability of each spouse, including the current job market, their marketable skills, and whether or not they need additional education or training
- The age and health of each party
- Any tax consequences that could arise
- The standard of living each party was accustomed to during the marriage
- The ability for the receiving spouse to gain employment without interfering with the best interest of children in their custody
It’s important to note that these are just some factors that will be considered when ordering and determining a custody amount. The judge has the ability to consider any other elements they see fit so long as they are fair.
Why Do I Need an Attorney During the Divorce Process?
As you can see, many factors are considered when awarding custody. Whether you want to request alimony or your spouse already has, ensuring you have an attorney on your side to guide you through this process is crucial. Having legal representation helps make sure you are paying or receiving a fair amount.
Not only can your attorney assist with any spousal support issues you may have, but they can help guide you through the remainder of the divorce process.
At the Zitser Family Law Group, we pride ourselves on our dedication to our clients. If you are going through a divorce and need legal representation, contact us today to learn how we can assist you.