What is the difference between spousal support and alimony?
The short answer is these mean the same thing! Some client’s think they are different, but, they are the same thing: monetary assistance from one party to another who were previously married and are now in the midst of a Dissolution or after Judgment of Dissolution.
Who may request Spousal Support?
In California, either spouse may request spousal support or alimony as part of Dissolution proceedings or post-judgment proceedings in some cases. Because spousal support law is very complex and the amount paid depends on the facts of the case, you will want to have an experienced lawyer representing you. If the couple can reach an agreement on alimony, the court will uphold this agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, spousal support will be litigated.
During Dissolution proceedings, a Court will use a program called DissoMaster to calculate this support. At the Law Offices of Cynthia Ann Harris, we have this program so we can give a client a preview of potential Guideline Support. If a party is Ordered to pay Spousal Support in a Judgment of Dissolution, a Court will weigh certain factors in deciding on this amount. These factors are found in Family Code section 4320 and include:
- length of marriage,
- assets and debts of the marriage
- age and health of each party
- marital standard of living
- documented domestic violence.
When calculating Spousal Support, a multitude of financials are considered such as: monthly W-2 or 1099 income, rental income, certain deductions, and self-employment income.
How long will I receive or have to pay Spousal Support?
As a general rule, Spousal Support is payable half the length of the marriage for marriages of less than 10 years duration. Marriages over 10 years are considered “long-term” marriages and the Court will not set a termination date of Spousal Support, unless a specific circumstances of facts exists.
A “Gavron warning” may be issued in circumstances where spousal support is ordered. What exactly is this? Gavron language is contained in Family Code section 4330 and states that it is the goal for each party to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. This area of law is complex and should be left to attorneys to assist in litigating. Both the attorneys at Harris Law Office, APC are up to date with recent happenings in the changing laws and codes as it relates to spousal support and have litigated this issue, both from the payee and payor side.
Get Trusted Alimony Representation
Whether you or your spouse is seeking alimony, the law regarding spousal support has grey areas that are ripe for legal argument and presentation of evidence. Ensure you receive high-quality guidance and experienced counsel. Get help from the professionals at Harris Law Office, APC. We are committed to representing every client with integrity, dedication, and with the understanding that you trust us to resolve your divorce or family law matter as if you were a member of our family.