Spousal Support & Alimony

Spousal Support & Alimony If you are seeking counsel in the San Francisco/San Jose Bay Area concerning a separation or divorce, our lawyers at Sagaria Law, P.C. can help you and your spouse or partner work to resolve support or alimony issues.

In California, when a couple legally separates or becomes divorced, the court may mandate that one person pay the other person a certain amount of financial support every month known as spousal support or alimony.

Even while the separation or divorce process is going on, a spouse or partner can ask a court to issue a "termporary spousal/partner support order." Each county in California has their own formula for calculating the amount of temporary support, and, depending on where you are filing for support, one of our attorneys can show you how this is worked out.

According to California Family Code section 4320, a judge must take the following factors into consideration when issuing the final judgment for support/alimony:

  • Each person's needs.
  • Each person's earnings, earning capacity, and what he or she is able to pay.
  • The number of years that the marriage or domestic partnership lasted.
  • The age and mental and physical well-being of both spouses or partners.
  • Property owned and debts owed.
  • Whether requiring both parties to work will make it too difficult to properly take care of the child(ren).
  • If there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship.
  • Whether the career of one partner or spouse has been affected by having to stay at home with the children.
  • How responsible one partner or spouse might have been in helping the other person build their career.
  • Each person's history of managing money during the marriage or domestic partnership.

Once the judge issues the final judgment for support, monthly payments can continue until:

  • One of the spouses or partners becomes deceased.
  • The person obtaining support gets married again or files for domestic partnership with a new partner.
  • A judgment or court order terminates the support.

A spouse or domestic partner can also ask a judge to enforce the support order if he or she is not receiving the monthly payments. As spousal support cases are usually handled in a California Superior Court, this means that a person living in Sunnyvale whose ex-spouse has stopped making support payments can go to the California Superior Court, County of Santa Clara to make their case.

Also, should the circumstances change for either person after the judge has issued the final judgment for support, a request can be made to change the amount of spousal support/alimony at any time.

If you would like to have more control over the terms of your separation or divorce, you may want to consider trying Alternative Dispute Resolution. ADR allows for the resolution of conflicts without going to trial, and there are many instances where our clients have been more satisfied with the results of mediation. Our lawyers at Sagaria Law, P.C. can help you determine whether your case may best be resolved through ADR rather than the courts.