Spousal support, or alimony, is the legal obligation to financially support your spouse following the dissolution of your marriage. The concept of spousal support was created to help the spouse who earns lesser pay or has been unemployed to become self-supporting.
Kinds of spousal support
If you seek spousal support while your case is in process, it will be known as a “temporary spousal support order.” It will be called “permanent spousal support” if the court case and divorce has been finalized.
Calculating spousal support
In the courts of Orange County, judges refer to the factors listed in the California Family Code to determine how much spousal support is required as they decide the final spousal support order. The factors mentioned include:
- The duration of the marriage.
- The standard of living each person maintained while being married and the needs based on that.
- The amount of money each person can afford to pay to maintain the standard of living while they were married.
- Property and debts, if any.
- If there were any instances of domestic violence during the marriage.
- If one spouse had to quit their career to care for the children or the household.
- The impact spousal support would have on the payer’s taxes.
The long-term spousal support depends on the duration of the marriage and the goal of the idea is to ensure that the spouse will be able to support themselves after a reasonable amount of time. The judge need not fix an end-date for the spousal support if the duration of the marriage was “long-term,” which is 10 years or longer.
Domestic violence and its impact on spousal support
If there has been any recorded evidence of domestic violence, the judge will take into consideration these details before the final decision has been made. If the abusive spouse is paying the spousal support, the judge will declare that any distress that was faced by the other spouse due to the violence must also be supported.
Once the court order has been published, the spouse must continue paying the alimony until a change has been declared by the court or until the end-date mentioned in the order. In Orange County and California in general, if you fall behind on your spousal support payments, you will have to pay 10% interest per year on the due balance which is known as “arrearages.” You can also be held “in contempt of court” if you are found to be willfully not paying the alimony.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.