Frequently-Asked Questions About Spousal Support
You are thinking of filing for a divorce and there are a lot of things worrying you. Alimony or spousal support is surely going to be one of them. Alimony is quite a sensitive issue and there are always questions regarding it.
This article aims to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding spousal support in California.
What is spousal support?
Spousal support is more commonly known as alimony. In cases of divorce or separation, spousal support is paid when one spouse earns substantially less than the other spouse. The amount is decided by the court.
What are the different kinds of alimony?
Alimony is broadly categorized into temporary alimony and permanent alimony.
What is temporary spousal support?
It is the payment made by the higher earning spouse or partner to the spouse or partner with a lower or no income. It is called ‘temporary’ because it provides financial support for the time period of the divorce proceeding. Once the divorce or separation is finalized, the temporary support changes to a permanent one.
What is permanent spousal support?
It is also known as ‘long term support’. Permanent spousal support, as the name suggests, is a regular payment of alimony from the higher earning spouse or partner to the spouse or partner with a lower or no income. The alimony continues to be paid after the divorce or separation has been finalized.
Permanent alimony is a written agreement determined by the court and agreed upon by the parties in a divorce or separation.
How long does permanent spousal support last?
The term ‘permanent’ is a bit misguiding here. This kind of a support is not for the rest of your life. It depends on the length of the marriage.
For short term marriages (that have lasted less than 10 years), the alimony lasts for about half the length of the marriage.
For marriages over 10 years, the length of the alimony payment is determined on the basis of a number of factors. ‘Half the length of the marriage’ rule does not apply here.
For very short marriages, permanent alimony may not be required at all. Temporary support payments can resolve the matter.
Getting divorced in California can be complicated. Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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