Alimony, known as spousal support in California, is a payment made by the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse after a divorce. Alimony is not a guarantee and is not part of every divorce case.
Determining spousal support can be simple if both parties agree to a specific amount or decide to waive the right to alimony support altogether. If the parties are unable to agree, the case can become more complicated and may require a judge to intervene.
In this situation, the best way to protect your rights is by retaining an alimony or spousal support attorney in Redwood City. An experienced attorney from The Schoenberg Family Law Group P.C. who specializes in family and divorce law in California can make the alimony process as stress-free as possible for you and your family.
What is Alimony/Spousal Support?
It is common in a marriage for one spouse to earn more money than the other. In a divorce case, this can create a problem for the lower-earning spouse, as he or she may be unable to maintain his or her normal standard of living alone after the divorce. Spousal support in California provides a solution for this issue. The Court may issue an order that requires the higher-earning spouse to make regular payments to the lower earner to keep things more balanced financially post-divorce.
There are two types of alimony: temporary and permanent. Temporary alimony pays a lower-earning spouse during the divorce proceedings. Permanent alimony is awarded as part of a divorce settlement. Despite the name, permanent alimony does not last indefinitely in most cases. The amount of time an alimony order will last depends mainly on the length of the marriage and the age of the parties.
How Do the Courts in Redwood City Determine Alimony?
Alimony will only arise if the couple agrees to include it in a divorce settlement or if one party pursues spousal support at trial. If a divorce case goes to court, a judge will analyze many factors when determining if the party seeking alimony is eligible for this type of award. A judge will look at factors such as:
- The length of the marriage and the general health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s income level and job experience
- Any property or assets owned by either spouse
The judge will also ask questions to gain a better understanding of the couple’s finances. The judge will analyze each spouse’s earning capacity based on education, marketable skills and the current job market. If one spouse gave up a career to raise a family, this will be taken into account, as well.
If the couple has a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, this will also play a role in whether or not one party receives alimony. The review process to determine if one party is at a financial disadvantage and eligible for alimony is extremely thorough. For this reason, judgments that award alimony are not easily modified.
What is the Average Alimony Payment in Redwood City?
There is no firm dollar figure for the average spousal support amount in California. Each couple and case is unique. Both parties will decide the appropriate amount in alimony, in most cases. If the case goes to trial, a judge will typically calculate spousal support by requiring the higher-earning spouse to pay a percentage of his or her net income (after child support) minus the recipient’s net income (if any). Although you may be able to find alimony calculators online, these are often inaccurate, and never used by the court in setting spousal support.
Resources for Spousal Support in Redwood City
There are resources available in Redwood City and San Mateo County that can help you if you need assistance with spousal support. If you do not have legal representation or cannot afford a lawyer, for instance, the Family Law Facilitator’s Office provides free services in Redwood City, on the second floor of the building located at 400 County Center. It is called the Southern Branch: Hall of Justice and Records.
Its office hours are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Clients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. In general, the Family Law Facilitator’s Office should only provide a jumping-off point for your alimony case, as the professionals there will often overlook circumstances specific to the individual. The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., on the other hand, can give you an in-depth analysis when determining spousal support.
How Can a Redwood City Alimony Attorney Help You?
Spousal support is a complicated subject that is difficult to navigate. The only way to ensure the protection of your rights while dealing with alimony during your divorce case in Redwood City is by hiring an attorney. A divorce attorney will look out for your best interests and take care of the complex legal process for you while you focus on your future.
At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., our attorneys have extensive experience practicing family law in Redwood City. We are passionate about advocating for the rights of individuals and families during complicated divorce cases. We have the tools and resources to help you come to a fair resolution in spousal support cases.
Our lawyers and staff of trained professionals can help you with financial research, accounting, analysis, document gathering and much more. We will take care of everything necessary to help you achieve a settlement that is optimal for you and your spouse.
Contact the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. Today
Whether you are seeking alimony or believe your ex-spouse will pursue this type of award in your divorce case, an attorney from the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. can help. Our Redwood City, California spousal support attorneys can give you a clear picture of your finances, assets and divorce case as a whole.
We will work closely with you to identify your goals, then help you achieve them using tailored and – when necessary – aggressive legal strategies. Discuss all the ways we can help you and your family today. Contact our Redwood City attorneys at (669) 230-1304 to schedule a consultation.