California law provides that spousal support or “alimony” may be granted to either spouse in connection with a proceeding for marital dissolution or legal separation. The law governing alimony is complex and permits contractual alterations of statutory provisions. Whether you are seeking alimony or you have been requested to pay spousal support, it is in your best interest to seek the guidance of experienced counsel.
At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., we advise our San Francisco family law clients and diligently work to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that any order or agreement for alimony is fair, equitable, and an adequate reflection of the specific needs of your matter.
An order for alimony may provide a spouse with temporary financial assistance during a proceeding for termination or alteration of marital status. In California, alimony may also be ordered to be paid to a spouse for a specific length of time after the marriage has been dissolved and, in some cases, an order for support may be permanent. The parties may contractually agree on an amount of support payable and request that the court enter the agreement as an order.
Alimony may be ordered by the court only after consideration of all statutorily enumerated factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The needs of each party
- Financial resources and liabilities of each party, including separate property
- Each party’s source(s) of income
- The impact of the custodial parent’s employment on the needs of the minor children
- The age and health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s ability to be self-supporting
- Tax consequences to each party
- The contribution of each party to domestic duties
- The contribution of each party to the education and training of the other party
- Domestic violence
Once ordered, the amount of alimony payable and the duration of payment may only be modified upon a showing of a change in circumstances. California law establishes the rebuttable presumption that absent an agreement to the contrary, if the spouse receiving support cohabitates with a new romantic partner, that spouse’s need for support has decreased. This is one example of a change in circumstances.
The law also provides that unless otherwise agreed upon, an order for alimony terminates upon the death of either party or remarriage of the party receiving support. However, if the parties specifically agree that an order for alimony is not subject to modification or termination, the amount payable may never be modified regardless of changed circumstances.
Given the variations in the law and the numerous factors affecting the amount of alimony payable from one party to the other, it is essential that you receive sound legal advice, whether you are the party paying support or the party receiving support. If litigation is in your best interest, we meticulously discover and document all relevant factors and aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure that the court’s order of support is fair and just.
At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., we work diligently to negotiate, litigate, draft, and implement alimony orders that meet the needs of our San Francisco Bay Area clients without sacrificing valuable rights. Whether your matter requires a simple amicable agreement or consideration of highly complicated financial assets, we offer considerable experience in achieving favorable alimony terms for our clients.
We also assist clients who seek modification of an existing support order due to a change in circumstances and we can assist you in enforcing an existing order for alimony.
Will There Be Alimony In Your Divorce?
Serving San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and all the Bay Area counties, the divorce lawyers of Schoenberg Family Law Group have extensive experience in complex alimony considerations. Contact us online or call 415.834.1120 to schedule a confidential consultation.