Friday, September 14, 2012

Divorce In California: Spousal Support

Facing a divorce can be one of the most stressful and anxiety-producing times of your life. Whether the breakup was planned or came about without warning, the prospect of divorce can cause great upset and render you confused about what to do next. The first step in alleviating your fears of the unknown is to become informed about the laws of divorce in California, spousal support, and to educate yourself about its ins-and-outs and how it will affect you and your family. 

As with any new situation, when you understand the process and know what your duties and responsibilities are, you will have a more realistic expectation for what lies ahead in the coming months. Allow your friends and family members for help and support you.  Ask for referrals to reputable family law attorneys who will sit down with you and go over your options and explain your rights.  You will inevitably make better decisions with current and accurate information.  Knowledge is power.

Below is a general description of spousal support and how divorce in California (spousal support), is generally viewed:

Spousal support is the payment or transfer of assets from one spouse to another after a divorce.  Until the matter has been resolved by the court or agreed to by the parties, interim payments can be put into place. This is called Temporary Spousal Support

If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement about how to divide the marital assets and payment of support, then the laws of divorce in California, spousal support, provide that the Superior Court in your county can use a support calculator program to assists them in determining the payments distributed from one spouse to the other.  

In deciding how spousal support should be awarded, the court considers the earning capacity of both parties, the assets and each party’s ability to pay, the standard of living maintained during the marriage, separate property, how long the marriage lasted, the ability of each party to find gainful employment or training, and the interest of the dependent children.  Other mitigating circumstances that the courts will consider are history of domestic violence and the emotion stress it causes.

Today, spousal support may be awarded to either a husband or wife, depending on the parties’ financial status.  Generally, however, this period has a set duration, allowing the supported party reasonable time to become financially independent before the support expires.

If a couple is able to come to a reasonable solution in terms of property division through mediation, they can avoid costly litigation.  However, some long-term marriages have complicated financial and tax implications that may require professional assessments, evaluations and negotiations. The State of California and its counties provide their citizens with the California Courts Judicial Branch Self-Help website, providing answers to questions about the laws of divorce in California.  It can assist you in deciding whether you should seek competent legal representation or retain a certified mediator. 

The dissolution of a marriage is an arduous time for most people.  Even if the decision to separate is mutually agreed upon by both parties, there are many psychological and emotional consequences of the end of a significant relationship. Consider counseling to help you get through the ups and downs and increase your chances of coming out of the other side of divorce mentally intact and emotionally healthy.


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