Understanding Spousal/Partner Support in California
In many divorce or legal separation cases, the court of law may arrange for a monthly financial support that one of spouse has to contribute to for his/her partner. The court of law stipulates a fixed amount called spousal support, partner support or alimony which has to be paid by one party to the other on a monthly basis.
When to request for a spousal or partner support?
One of the domestic partners or spouse can file a case for obtaining alimony in the court of law in the event of a divorce, legal separation, annulment or a restraining order for domestic violence. An individual can file a request for support to be paid to him/her even when the case is still pending in the court of law. The aforementioned type of spousal support is often termed as temporary spousal support order. On the other hand, you may also request spousal support as an auxiliary settlement post the final verdict of a divorce or legal separation case. In such cases, it is termed as long term or permanent partner or spousal support.
What happens if an individual falls behind on his spousal support payment?
As the settlement for spousal support is stipulated in a legal court order, it must be followed as per the agreement instructions up until the end date, or for as long as the court doesn’t alter or put an end to it. However, in the event that an individual fails to make the payment, he is charged with a 10% yearly interest on the due amount. If you fall back on your post-due partner or spousal support arrears, the court will order you pay the additional amount along with the monthly support payments. The aforementioned additional amount is referred to as liquidation amount and is contributed towards your due arrears. However, even if you continue with the arrear payment via monthly installments, the yearly interest will still be charged on the balance due amount.
In the event that a court of law finds out that you are intentionally falling behind on your monthly alimony payments even when you have the means and the ability to pay for them, it may charge you with the contempt of court. Such charges can be extremely grave and may even result in you being imprisoned.
Both spousal and partner support are complex legal proceedings which would require you to consult a professional attorney before you file for the same in the court of law.
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