We are often asked “Will I have to pay spousal support?” When the marriage has lasted a long time it is usually modified to include “Will I have to pay spousal support for the rest of my life?”
Spousal support is a complex legal issue of divorce. California’s spousal support laws are quite extensive as is supporting case law. If you aren’t a lawyer, the most important things to understand at the outset of this conversation are:
- Spouses owe a duty of care to one another, even during and after a divorce and this is the foundation of spousal support.
- There are a host of factors which go into the questions of whether spousal support is applicable in your case, how much it will be and how long it will last.
- Spousal support is often higher at the outset of the divorce process (i.e. temporary orders) versus the amount ordered in the permanent orders at the conclusion of your divorce
- There are no hard and fast rules in spousal support and the experience and skill of your attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome
The judge in your case must give careful consideration to many issues on your question of “Will I have to pay spousal support?” including but not limited to:
- The duration of the marriage
- The present income and earning ability of each former spouse
- The health of the parties
- The financial standard of living enjoyed by the parties prior to the divorce
- Education and employment viability of both parties
- Domestic Violence or Criminal Behavior
The length of the marriage will have an impact on a spousal support order. Generally speaking, if the marriage lasted for less than 10 years spousal support will often be ordered to last for half the duration of the marriage. Marriages over ten years require a substantial change in the status quo such as the death of a party, the remarriage of the recipient of spousal support and perhaps cohabitation.
The judge may also issue a “Gavron Warning” which establishes a specific period of time for the recipient of spousal support to become self supporting.
Spousal support is a complex issue within a divorce and you need the experienced and certified specialists at Burke & Domercq to protect your interests and achieve the best outcome in your unique case. We invite you to contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment to discuss your circumstances and how we can work together to accomplish your goals.