What should I do to minimize the amount of spousal support I have to pay? There are a number of valid strategies to reduce the amount of a potential spousal support award. First, a word of caution: Do not attempt to manipulate financial disclosures or artificially attempt to manipulate business earnings before a divorce. Forensic accountants can easily spot these strategies as they investigate financial records. Manipulating financial disclosures will result in serious financial sanctions. One of which may very well be an increased amount of spousal support.
So, what are the best strategies to minimize the amount of spousal support to be paid during and after your Carlsbad divorce?
First is to stop working overtime. If you work overtime and continue to do so, the court will consider your actual higher income derived from the overtime income. However, you are not required to work overtime and if you do not receive this income then the Court will not consider it in determining the amount of income available for support.
A second strategy is to offer to pay a lump sum or a portion of your share of community property in lieu of spousal support.
Another strategy to minimize the amount of spousal support you’ll be required to pay is to prove to the Court that the supported spouse actually has the ability to engage in gainful employment and contribute to his or her own support.
This is called a vocational evaluation. The law is clear:
The California Family Law Statute Provides: “(a) In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, the court may order a party to submit to an examination by a vocational training counselor. The examination shall include an assessment of the party’s ability to obtain employment based upon the party’s age, health, education, marketable skills, employment history, and the current availability of employment opportunities. The focus of the examination shall be on an assessment of the party’s ability to obtain employment that would allow the party to maintain herself or himself at the marital standard of living.
(b) The order may be made only on motion, for good cause, and on notice to the party to be examined and to all parties. The order shall specify the time, place, manner, conditions, scope of the examination, and the person or persons by whom it is to be made….” (Fam. Code §4331.)
The report usually contains evidence the court will consider in determining the proper amount of spousal support.
If you are concerned about what you should do to minimize the amount of spousal support you’ll be required to pay you need sound legal advice and counsel.