Alimony Lawyers in Sacramento
Unraveling a relationship is not always as simple as dividing property and other assets and going your separate ways. In many marriages, one spouse earns more than the other. After a divorce, the non-earning or lower-earning individual may have to figure out how to support himself or herself. Alimony payments, also referred to as spousal support, allow that individual to maintain the same quality of life while acclimating to independence. If you are in need of an experienced Sacramento, CA alimony lawyer, contact the Boyd Law office in Sacramento, CA for a free legal consultation.
How Alimony Is Determined in California
In California, the dollar amount and timeframe for paying alimony is largely in the court’s hands. It may award temporary or permanent support and retroactive support based on the case’s circumstances. As with child custody, many individuals face intense scrutiny during alimony proceedings. California Family Code Section 4320-4326 details the factors the courts evaluate to determine alimony payments, including:
- Each party’s ability to maintain a consistent quality of life after separation
- The existing education level, skills, and future training needs of the supported party
- Any earning capacity impairment due to unemployment and domestic responsibilities
- The higher earning individual’s ability to support the other party
- Tax considerations
- Marriage length
- Child custody considerations
Historically, ex-husbands almost always paid their ex-wives alimony after a divorce. Today, however, the court will order the higher earning spouse to pay alimony regardless of gender. Most alimony awards are not determined based on a history of marital misconduct, such as adultery. Domestic violence, though, is generally the only type of misconduct that will affect an alimony award and future court proceedings.
Once awarded, the court will determine payment criteria. The judge will typically put limits on the number of years an individual will pay. The court reserves the right to adjust the timeframe based on future marriages, children’s needs, the efforts of the receiving spouse, retirement, or death.
Alimony or “Palimony” for Unmarried Individuals
While rare, it is possible for an unmarried individual to secure reimbursement after a split. In the 1976 California Supreme Court Case Marvin v. Marvin, courts determined that individuals who live together and have a sexual and financial relationship are eligible for economic reimbursement in limited situations. Only an experienced alimony attorney in Sacramento, CA can help you determine if your case fits the parameters for this type of reimbursement.
Alimony Problems After a Divorce
Alimony concerns often continue after divorce finalization. The supported spouse may take the supporting spouse to court for failing to pay alimony. On the other hand, the supporting spouse may argue for a reduction or modification of support payments, or to have the agreement dissolved completely based on new circumstances. Each outcome is determined on a case by case basis. While precedents do govern particular circumstances, what works in one alimony arrangement may not work in another.
When you hire an experienced Sacramento divorce attorney, consider the ongoing struggles you may face after the divorce. Choose a Sacramento, CA alimony lawyer you trust to help you through future child custody, asset protection, asset division, and alimony concerns.
The Right Alimony Attorney in Sacramento
Your alimony attorney in Sacramento, CA will play an instrumental role throughout these proceedings, including the determination of alimony. He or she will evaluate each factor and fight for your best interests during and after a separation. At Boyd Law in Sacramento, we have experience working with alimony across a range of incomes and case circumstances.
Whether you worry about supporting two households after a divorce or you need to ensure you have the financial security to get back on your feet, the team at Boyd Law is ready to provide compassionate and tireless support. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and learn more about our comprehensive approach to alimony.