Redlands Spousal Support Lawyers
Spouses and domestic partners in California may be eligible to receive spousal/partner support if the relationship ends. This can be a difficult issue for the parties to agree on. It is made more difficult because the state does not have a formula that calculates permanent spousal support, leaving the amount and duration of the order to each judge’s discretion.
The lawyers at Bowler and Bowler understand the challenges of spousal support determination. They will review your finances and explain how spousal support may apply in your case. Because there is no statutory formula for calculating final spousal support awards, it is important to have an experienced attorney to argue for your rights. Bowler and Bowler have vast experience to assist you.
Payments Should Be Fair to Both Parties in Redlands
Spousal support may be granted on a temporary or permanent basis. Temporary support is paid during the separation but ends when the divorce is finalized. Permanent or long-term support is paid after the divorce is finalized.
Judges consider numerous factors when calculating spousal support. The income and earning ability of each party are important factors; the length of the marriage or partnership is also important. Under California law, in marriages of fewer than 10 years, spousal support is generally not granted for an open term. For marriages of more than 10 years, support can be granted indefinitely. However, judges have discretion when deciding this matter. If you will be paying support, your attorney should argue for a support termination date.
If there is any aspect of spousal support that makes you uncomfortable or that you find confusing, speaking with a lawyer can help. As experienced Redlands lawyers, Bowler and Bowler attorneys have listened to the fears and concerns of both payees and payers. See below for some of the most common reasons for concern:
- Confusion regarding how to account for alimony in taxes
- Questions about how child support might affect spousal support and vice versa
- Fears regarding the ability to keep making payments in an uncertain future
- Concerns for dependent spouses regarding what happens if the partner passes away
- Indecision regarding long-term payments, a lump sum settlement or a mix of both
Spousal Support and Divorce in Redlands, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties
- Real Estate: Ask your lawyer about selling real estate property you have in the county, elsewhere in California or other places around the world.
- Retirement Accounts: If you set aside a large lump sum for retirement and your spouse is more concerned about retirement than current financial obligations, ask your California attorney about using a QDRO to divide this up without penalties.
- Investment Account: It is possible, in some instances, to transfer ownership of stocks or other investments you have to your partner to feed the settlement offer you plan to make.
- Business: If you and your spouse own a business together and you are willing to part ways with it, ask your attorney about negotiating to include the business in the settlement agreement.
- Cash: A cash, lump sum settlement may resolve issues of support or property division. Careful thought must be given to the impact of reducing cash resources and whether it is feasible under the circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spousal Support
Even after your first full consultation with our lawyers, you may still have questions about alimony and how it works. Here are our answers to some of the most common questions we receive.
Why is spousal support necessary?
What’s the difference between spousal support and alimony?
Do we have to go to court?
No, you do not need to go to court to work out a spousal support arrangement. Generally, every effort is made to resolve any disagreements beforehand and arrive at a reasonable number that satisfies both parties.
How do I end it?
Several considerations can contribute to spousal support ending. For instance, support usually ends if the receiving spouse remarries. You may still need to work with a California attorney to file a motion to end the support in this instance, though.
Sometimes ex-spouses enter long-term relationships and even live with someone else but refuse to marry because they want to keep receiving the check. In some of these cases, supporting spouses have successfully argued for an end to spousal support, but this requires a clear understanding of the relevant law and assembling persuasive facts.
What happens if I fall behind on payments?
If you fall behind on payments, not only do you still owe the unpaid amount but you will also begin to accrue interest. In most cases, if you only owe spousal support, your spouse may file for the garnishment of your wages. If you also have a child support order in place, then the local child support agency could get involved to collect on both support orders. The LCSA has the right to resort to the following tactics:
- Filing a lien against personal property, such as your home or vehicle, so the support is paid from the proceeds
- Reporting past-due payments to credit agencies, which can damage your creditworthiness
- Suspending state-issued licenses, such as driver’s licenses, until the past-due support is paid
- Putting measures in place to ensure the U.S. State Department does not provide a new or renew a passport once you owe more than $2,500 in child support
- Seizing financial assets reported to the state or IRS to pay for past-due support, such as cash in bank accounts
- Seizing government benefits, such as income tax refunds, to contribute to past-due support payments