Is Alimony Adjusted for Inflation?

inflation represented by coins

When you and your spouse divorce, understanding how alimony, also called spousal support payments, works is essential to financial planning. However, it isn’t always as simple as a judge handing you a number and adding it to your monthly budget. There are many factors that can influence these payments, including inflation, which is why you need the guidance of Los Angeles spousal support attorneys. Keep reading to learn more about how the rising cost of living can impact your alimony payments.

How Is Spousal Support Determined in California?

Spousal support is determined by a number of factors. Generally, to see if a person is eligible for alimony, the courts will consider if a spouse can support themselves without spousal payments. For example, if a woman divorces her husband but never attended college as she intended to be a stay-at-home mother, she would likely receive support payments. However, if a woman with her doctorate divorces her husband, she may not receive payments as she has the ability to support herself because of her marketable skills. If both spouses are able to support themselves, it is likely neither will receive alimony.

However, if it’s determined that a spouse does qualify for spousal support payments, the court will consider a dependent’s income and expenses, or their cost of living before awarding an amount. These factors include their income, if any, and expenses like mortgage or rent payments, utilities, groceries, and any other monthly payments that may arise.

How Does Inflation Impact Spousal Support?

However, when the cost of living drastically increases due to inflation, what happens to alimony payments? After all, it may be nearly impossible for a defendant’s spouse to make ends meet when the cost of rent, groceries, and other necessities has seemingly skyrocketed. However, this COLA clause can also work to decrease monthly payments when inflation is low and the cost of living reduces.

Luckily, the courts have taken this into consideration, allowing for the inclusion of a COLA clause. A Cost of Living Adjustment clause allows the payments to increase as bills and expenses do. In some instances, a judge will automatically include this clause in an alimony agreement, while others may have to ask for its inclusion.

This clause is a great option for those receiving alimony payments, as it reduces the uncertainty of being able to afford your monthly expenses when the cost of living drastically reduces.

When you have questions about the alimony payments you give or receive each month, you’ll want to turn to a trusted attorney for help. At the Zitser Family Law Group, our dedicated legal team will work tirelessly to help you navigate any issues you may have with spousal support. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with any questions or concerns you may have.

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