Spousal Support Lawyers in Sacramento, CA
Financial inequality often occurs in marriage. Whether one individual stops working to take care of children or has always made a lower income, it would not be fair to ask that individual to support himself or herself immediately after separation. Not every individual is eligible for spousal support, but understanding how the process works in California can help you negotiate a legal separation or divorce. An experienced Boyd Law Sacramento spousal support attorney can sit down with you and help you better understand the legal process and how to go about best navigating it.
How Spousal Support Works in California
Spousal support is the same concept as alimony. Under court order, one spouse must pay a predetermined amount to the other for a set timeframe. While separation, divorce, and annulments are the most common reasons why individuals obtain spousal support, the court may also establish an order in cases of domestic violence.
The state does not establish this type of support as a punishment, but as assistance for the lower earning or non-earning spouse while he or she works to become financially independent. The court may order spousal support payments while a couple is in the process of getting divorced, after a divorce, or to cover expenses retroactively.
Ultimately, a spousal support order should allow spouses to maintain a standard of living that closely resembles their quality of life during marriage. Some of the factors court looks at to determine the amount and timeframe for support payments include:
- The length of the marriage
- The preexisting standard of living and circumstances
- A lower earning or non-earning spouse’s earning capacity
- The amount of education or training needed for a supported spouse to gain independence
- Age, health, and unique circumstances
- The ability of the supporting spouse to reasonably provide financial support
- Tax considerations
- A history of domestic violence
- The ability of a supported spouse to work while raising children
- The non-economic contributions of the supported spouse to the relationship/family
Based on these and other criteria, a judge may order temporary or permanent spousal support. If the partners are willing, they may arrange the terms of spousal support themselves or with assistance from a mediator.
A supported spouse may reject his or her right to spousal support, but the court does reserve the right to order support during instances of financial instability. The supporting spouse’s payments are tax deductible, and the supported spouse’s received payments count as taxable income.
At any point, a supporting or supported spouse may request a spousal support modification to account for changes in financial and living circumstances. Spousal support automatically ends whenever a court order stipulates an ending, one spouse dies, or the supported spouse remarries.
Consequences for Failing to Pay Spousal Support
Anyone who does not pay his or her ordered support may owe 10% interest per year on the full balance owed. The state can garnish a supporting spouse’s wages to fulfill his or her debt obligations. After the court has ordered spousal support, supported spouses may need to seek legal counsel to address any payment issues. The law considers anyone who willfully refuses to pay spousal support in contempt of court. He or she may spend time in jail.
Finding a Spousal Support Attorney in Sacramento
At Boyd Law, our spousal support attorneys in Sacramento, Ca have extensive experience obtaining fair spousal support arrangements for our clients. Every situation is different and may require a unique approach. Our team of family attorneys in Sacramento, CA are prepared to help you through the mediation process and represent you in court. Obtaining fair spousal support can make a significant difference in your life after a break up.
When you look for legal counsel, consider the experience and expertise of the firm you work with. At Boyd Law our Sacramento, CA divorce law attorneys begin every relationship with a consultation so you understand our approach and how we can help. Contact us today for a no cost, no obligation evaluation.