Menlo Park Spousal Support Attorneys
Formerly known as alimony, spousal support is awarded to assist the supported party financially during and after divorce. Spousal support can help individuals make smooth transitions to financial sustainability after divorce. Our family law attorneys at Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP handle spousal support cases for clients in Menlo Park and San Ramon.
How Spousal Support Is Determined
A judge will consider a variety of factors when deciding on the type and amount of spousal support to award the petitioning party. Temporary spousal support is generally paid during the pendency of a dissolution proceeding and is calculated by using the same computer software program the courts use to calculate guideline child support. Post-Judgment spousal support, commonly referred to as long-term or “permanent” support, is calculated based on a series of 14 factors from family law code Section 4320. These factors, in general terms, include the following:
- The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support
- The duration of the marriage
- The standard of living during the last 3-5 years of the marriage, or sometimes longer
- The financial needs and assets of both parties
- The earning capacity of the supported party
- The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent child(ren) in the custody of the party
- The age and health of both spouses
- The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party
- The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party
- The supported party’s contribution to the supporting party’s career during marriage
- Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence between the parties or perpetrated by either party against either party’s child
- The balance of the hardships to each party
- Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable
- The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time, such as half the length of the marriage, unless the marriage is of long duration (over 10 years)
- Spousal support is generally tax-deductible to the supporting party and taxable as income to the recipient.
Can Spousal Support Orders Be Modified?
Unless made non-modifiable by agreement of the parties, spousal support orders can be modified if a change of circumstance exists, such as a job loss or serious injury. Absent a contrary agreement, spousal support also terminates upon the recipient’s remarriage or the death of either party.