California courts have great discretion in determining spousal support, one of the most hotly contested issues in a divorce proceeding. Every case is unique, and it can be challenging for courts to arrive at a just and reasonable support award.
The court considers many factors when it comes to determining spousal support, including the ability of the parties to provide for their own needs. At the Ukiah, Mendocino County, California, Law Offices of Jim Sansone, our attorneys offer experience and qualified legal counsel to successfully maneuver through the matters of spousal support.
The amount and duration of the support determined by the court must be based in part on the standard of living that was established by the parties during the marriage. Within statutory guidelines, courts have the right to deny spousal support or to limit it in the amount and duration.
DETERMINING THE SPOUSAL SUPPORT AMOUNT
Among the circumstances the court will consider in arriving at a spousal support award are the following:
- Length of the marriage or domestic partnership
- Standard of living established during the marriage
- Economic position and marketable skills of the respective parties
- Extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the other spouse’s attainment of education
- Supporting spouse’s earning capacity and ability to pay
- Assets and debts of each party
- Tax issues and consequences
- Employment of custodial spouse and how it will impact the children
- General health and age of each party
- Documented history of domestic violence
- Other equitable factors the court determines are important in making a spousal support decision
In cases that involve a long-term marriage, a spouse may be awarded permanent support which can be changed — increased, reduced or eliminated — in given circumstances, such as retirement or a job loss. However, the party making the support payments must seek a modification to the divorce order.
Spousal support matters can be sensitive and require a dedicated and compassionate professional that specializes in this family law area. To discuss your spousal support matter with an experienced attorney, contact us or call the Ukiah Law Offices of Jim Sansone at 707-542-5611 to schedule an initial free confidential consultation.