Understanding The Basics of California Alimony Laws
Alimony aka Spousal Support is perhaps the trickiest element of a divorce. It goes without saying that the one who has to pay does not want to pay, and the one who has to be paid wants to be paid higher. Despite the guidance of the existing legislation and legal mandates in California, bringing both the parties involved to a common ground is more than just a challenge. What ensues is a bitter battle between the two parties, which more often than not, eventually finds itself in Court.
Temporary Alimony vs Post-Judgment Alimony
Divorce case settlements can take any amount of time. During this period, the Californian court allows for the payment of Temporary Alimony. This support is paid until the case is finalized in court. This alimony amount is settled based on the payor’s ability to pay and the dependent spouse’s need. The amount can also be modified before the final judgment, with concrete and well-established reasons.
Temporary Alimony – a legal dilemma
It is often the case that the payor of alimony insists that the amount demanded is unreasonable and that he or she does not have the financial means to pay it. The payee on the other hand, insists that he or she will find it difficult to make ends meet with what is offered. This is a serious problem when it comes to the payor-spouses who are in debt. If an individual spends more than he earns, where can he find the means to pay the payee?
Usually, the court solves this dilemma by investigating into the expenses of both the parties. The court checks the expenditures of the parties to see how much of their income is ‘wasted’ on things they do not need. The payee is then directed to ask for an amount that is sufficient only for his or needs, and the payor is asked to adjust his expenditures so that this amount can be paid.
Determinants of a Post-Judgment Alimony
What follows the Temporary support cannot really be called a permanent support as not all judgments allow for alimony payment forever. The Courts in California settles the issue of post-judgment Alimony based on a ‘marital standard of living analysis’ under the guidance of the California Family Code section 4320. Before delving deeper into the directives of the Family Code 4320, the Court makes an analysis of:
- The level of frugality or lavishness in the family’s lifestyle.
- How functional the marriage has been.
- How long the marriage has lasted.
- The work-life balance maintained by either spouses
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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