Alimony Attorneys in Los Angeles, California
When couples divorce, they are forced to face the challenges of splitting their finances. Often, during a marriage, one spouse financially supported the other, leaving the dependent spouse facing serious hardship upon separation. Whether you are the spouse requesting support or you are trying to avoid providing support for your ex, the Zitser Family Law Group, APC, is on your side. To discuss your situation with a legal team you can trust to handle your matters confidentially, efficiently, and with your best interests at the forefront, contact Zitser Family Law Group, APC today.
Understanding Spousal Support in California
Spousal support (commonly referred to as alimony) may be awarded in the event of separation or divorce. California courts examine a broad range of factors when determining spousal support. Under California Family Code § 4320, there are particular codified factors that a judge can use in making such an award. Our office is committed to pointing out such necessity and analyzing every factor as applied to your unique circumstances.
There are a number of different factors considered in an alimony award. When one party has been the sole “bread-winner” in the marriage and the other has grown dependent on that support, such circumstances may indicate that an award of spousal support is warranted. All the relevant facts and circumstances must be articulated to the judge making the determination to ensure that you obtain the most appropriate and fair result possible. With the help of an experienced attorney, we can ensure that no arbitrary decisions are made.
Types of Support Orders in California
There are two types of awards: temporary and permanent support. As each case is unique, each determination of whether to award temporary or permanent support is different. One main indicator is the standard of living achieved during the marriage and prior to the separation. If during the marriage, lavish homes, luxury cars, frequent vacations, and other luxuries are present, the standard of living is considered to be high and should be taken into consideration when determining the amount and nature of spousal support. A judge will examine this standard of living as a guide and then determine whether it is sustainable, given the need and earning capacity of each party.
Modification of Support Orders
A support order can be modified or completely terminated. The two main guiding points are whether the party receiving support still maintains such a need and whether the supporting party can still do so without suffering harm. As the awarding judge is given considerable discretion in making an award, it is up to the appealing party to show that the circumstances have changed since the award to justify a modification. The obliged party suffering financial ruins may give weight to this argument.
An additional consideration is an independent duty for the dependent party to make a good faith effort towards becoming self-sufficient. Typically, this involves looking for a job or an alternative means of income. A judge will consider the effort put forth by the receiving party to see if they are making a good-faith effort. In cases where the issues are more complicated, we enlist reputable vocational experts, experienced in the family law courts. We will ensure that these individuals are retained to put forth the best argument on your behalf.
As previously mentioned, these support orders may be terminated. This can be at the discretion of the court who is reviewing the initial order or through fixed-term support orders. In addition, the remarriage of the party receiving support may trigger termination of the initial support order. You must have an attorney familiar with the terms and conditions of the support order who will fight for your behalf in the event such an order is appealed.
Contact a Los Angeles Family Law Attorney
At Zitser Family Law Group, APC, we understand how challenging matters related to spousal support can be, regardless of which side you are on. When it comes to spousal support, time is of the essence. A complex fact-finding process must take place to thoroughly apply the relevant aspects of your unique circumstances to the many factors the court is required to take into consideration. Contact our office today to discuss setting up an initial consultation. The sooner you act, the sooner you can make a case for what you rightfully deserve.