AUBURN SPOUSAL SUPPORT ATTORNEY, Sara S. Thompson – Spousal support is the money that one party may be required to pay to the other. In a domestic partnership, this is called partner support. You may also hear some refer to spousal support as alimony.
Going through a divorce is a difficult time for people. Spousal support can be a subject that is highly contested. The person paying support is often concerned that they cannot afford to financially maintain their affairs if they are required to pay a large sum to the other party, and the person receiving support is typically worried they will not receive enough in order to make their ends meet.
Spousal support or partner support can be requested as part of a divorce, legal separation, annulment, or domestic violence restraining order case. Spousal support can be ordered by the judge or the parties can come to an agreement which is signed by the court.
Spousal support can be ordered or agreed to while your case is ongoing and/or at the conclusion of your case. Support that is ordered while your case is ongoing is referred to as “temporary support orders.” Temporary spousal support is determined by using a formula.
Final support orders are ordered at the conclusion of your case. The judge will not use a formula to determine the amount of final support, but instead looks to what is referred to as “4320 factors” (California Family Code section 4320).
The duration of the marriage is related to the length of time that a party may be required to pay support to the other party. The general rule is that a support order will not exceed one half the length of the marriage. However, the judge has discretion to deviate from the general rule based on the specific circumstances to the case.
If, however, the marriage or domestic partnership is considered a “long term” marriage/partnership, the court cannot provide an end date for the requirement to pay support. The general rule that support will not exceed one half the length of the marriage is not the case in a “long term” marriage. A marriage or partnership is considered “long-term” if it is 10 years or more.
If there is a change in circumstances after the support order is in place, either party can request for a modification of support. Remember, until there is a new court order, the exiting support payment is still required to be made to the other party.
It is important to discuss your options with an attorney. Call the Law Office of Sara S. Thompson, PC to discuss your case and how we can help you with your spousal support needs.