Spousal Support Attorneys Serving Petaluma, CA
If you are uncertain about your spousal support options in Petaluma, you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney by your side to protect your rights. At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., our Petaluma spousal support lawyer has more than thirty years of experience and a commitment to serving your legal goals and expectations.
Contact us in Petaluma today for legal representation that is:
- Strategic, yet practical;
- Successful in both negotiations and litigation; and
- Open and responsive in client communications.
Our Petaluma Spousal Support Attorneys Can Help
Spousal support can have a dramatic impact on your financial and economic future. At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., our spousal support attorneys want to build your spousal support case and provide you with the legal support you need throughout your divorce, whether you are the payer or payee.
The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. will do the following and more for you:
- Ensure you understand California’s laws regarding spousal support;
- When possible, negotiate a spousal support settlement before courtroom litigation;
- Collect and prepare the evidence needed to support your position;
- Retain necessary financial experts; and
- Present your case at trial when necessary.
Call our Petaluma office today to address your spousal support questions and concerns.
Types of Spousal Support in Petaluma
There are two types of spousal support, or alimony, in Petaluma: temporary and permanent spousal support. Temporary support is ordered while a divorce is pending. Permanent support is ordered at the end of a divorce.
Temporary spousal support is meant to maintain the living conditions and standards of living of the spouses until the divorce is finalized. With few exceptions, permanent spousal support is not permanent, but only to allow the supported spouse an opportunity to become self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time.
Duration of Spousal Support in Petaluma
The duration of spousal support depends upon the length of the marriage and the amount of time it will reasonably take for a transition from a married lifestyle to a single, self-supporting lifestyle. Spousal support awards in marriages of less than ten years are no longer than half the length of the marriage. For marriages of more than ten years, the length of spousal support awards vary.
The Amount of Spousal Support in Petaluma
There is a formula for calculating temporary spousal support in California. Permanent support is based on several factors considered by the court.
- The earning capacity of each spouse;
- The extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting spouse;
- The ability of the supporting spouse to pay spousal support;
- The needs of each spouse based on the standard of living established during the marriage;
- The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each spouse;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The ability of the supported spouse to engage in gainful employment;
- The age and health of the spouses;
- Any documented evidence of domestic violence;
- The immediate and specific tax consequences to each spouse;
- The balance of the hardships to each spouse;
- The goal that the supported spouse shall be self-supporting within a reasonable time; and
- Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.
Either spouse may request a modification of alimony as long as the original order does not specify that it is non-modifiable.
What is a Gavron Warning?
Some divorcing couples may be under the common misconception that alimony lasts forever, partly due to the misleading term “permanent alimony” which typically only means it’s the judge’s order upon the divorce finalization and not the temporary order obtained by a spouse during the divorce proceedings. While under certain circumstances a judge may issue a long-term or indefinite support order — most commonly after long-term marriages — this isn’t usually the case. Alimony is meant to be a protection for spouses who were financially dependent on the other spouse and unable or unprepared to maintain their familiar lifestyle on their own after the divorce. In some instances, a judge may issue a Gavron warning to the support recipient along with the order for support.
A Gavron warning is made when the court advises the spousal support recipient to make reasonable efforts to improve their own financial situation or earning potential over time so they can move toward becoming self-supporting. This warning may or may not be included in the judge’s final order for spousal maintenance and is sometimes requested by the attorney of the support-paying spouse.
What is a Richmond Order in California Spousal Support?
Richmond orders are a type of spousal support order designed to encourage the recipient to work toward financial independence. In this type of order, the spousal support order has a specific termination date, after which the support recipient would have to show cause why the order should continue or it terminates. This time limit on an order encourages the support recipient to become proactive in seeking employment or training and education toward a vocation to become self-supporting.
A Richmond order helps to prepare a spouse for self-sufficiency by limiting the duration of the support with a specific timeline for the goal of becoming independent unless the spouse can show just cause due to an unforeseen circumstance.
Contact an Experienced Petaluma Spousal Support Attorney
At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., our attorneys have years of experience representing payers and payees in spousal support cases. Do not hesitate to reach out to our Petaluma office with your questions about spousal support payments. Your appointment will be completely confidential.