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Things to know about spousal support in California

Are you getting ready to work through the divorce process? Are you wondering what it is you'll be able to walk away with? Are you particularly worried about paying or receiving spousal support? If you are, you are not alone.

Spousal support is not something offered in every divorce case. There are certain factors the courts look at before granting an order of support. What are these factors? If given, how long will the order last? Can you ever change an alimony order?

Determining factors

Generally, the party requesting support must have a need or a good reason for wanting it. Before approving or denying an alimony order, the courts will look at:

  • Age of both spouses
  • Income of both spouses
  • Marital standard of living
  • Payer ability
  • Marriage length

When the requesting spouse can show a financial need for the support or if a certain standard of living is necessary, the petition for alimony may receive approval.

How long do orders last?

This varies per case. The state of California offers various types of alimony. They include:

  • Temporary
  • Rehabilitative
  • Permanent
  • Reimbursement
  • Lump-sum

Temporary and rehabilitative support are for those who only need financial assistance for a short period of time. Temporary is for before a divorce is final, while a rehabilitative order is usually good for a couple of years until they find their own financial footing. Permanent alimony is for those who require support indefinitely. Reimbursement support requires the payer to help the payee with certain expenses. Finally, lump-sum maintenance simply allows the payer to pay the full support order upfront rather than monthly.

Adjustment

Yes, spousal support orders may qualify for modifications. Again, every case is different. There needs to be a good reason for an adjustment request. It could be the payer asking for a reduction or cancellation of the order due to a change in the payee's financial status. It could also be the payee asking for more money due to need or a change in the payer's financial situation. Not all adjustment requests will receive approval.

Get help working through spousal support issues

Whether you are seeking spousal support, concerned you have to pay it or would like to request an adjustment to a current order, you do not have to work through your alimony issues alone. With the right help, you may achieve a support order that best fits your situation.

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