Spousal Support

Experienced Colusa and Lake County Lawyers Handling Spousal Support Cases

When a couple divorces in Lake, Colusa, Yuba, or Sutter County, there are many issues that they must consider. These often include spousal support or alimony payments. When a couple has been married for many years, spousal support issues can become extremely complicated. In California, courts have a long list of factors that they must consider when deciding whether a party is entitled to spousal support. This means that it is not always easy to predict how the court may rule on a claim for spousal support payments. Additionally, courts have discretion to make a variety of orders involving spousal support, including limiting the payments to a certain length of time. If you are currently involved in a legal dispute involving spousal support or simply curious about your rights regarding the issue, the Colusa and Lake County spousal support lawyers at Hinely Law are prepared to assist you. We have substantial experience in this field and can develop a strategy tailored to your circumstances.

California’s Approach to Spousal Support Payments

During a divorce, separation, or domestic violence restraining order case, one of the spouses can ask the court to issue an order requiring the other party to pay a monthly amount to the requesting spouse as a support payment. Also known as alimony or partner support, this subject can be complex. It is important for you to understand how spousal support may affect your taxes, eligibility for government programs, and more. The requesting party also has the option of requesting a temporary spousal support payment from the court that will be applicable during the pendency of the lawsuit. This temporary spousal support order can eventually become a permanent spousal support order, but the court can ultimately issue a different support order or no support order at all.

If you already have an existing spousal support order, an experienced spousal support attorney in Colusa or Lake County can help you seek a modification of the order if you experience a change in circumstances. This generally involves a substantial event, such as the paying party experiencing a sudden and drastic drop in income, or a lack of a good-faith effort by the supported spouse to become financially independent. If you are seeking a termination of spousal support, you must obtain a court order, or the other party must remarry. The death of the other party will also terminate the order.

How Courts Calculate the Amount of Spousal Support

In matters involving requests for temporary spousal support, California law requires judges to use a specific formula. There are different approaches used in different counties. The local rules for your county court will have more information on how temporary spousal support orders will be addressed. When a permanent order of spousal support is requested, the judge will not apply a formula. Instead, they will be guided by a lengthy list of factors. Our Colusa and Lake County spousal support attorneys can explain how each factor may apply in your case.

The length of the marriage is an important consideration, especially when the parties were married for a substantial period. The standard of living to which the couple became accustomed is also a consideration, in addition to the ability of each person to make payments to help sustain that standard of living. If the couple has children, the court will consider whether requiring the requesting spouse to obtain employment would interfere with child care. Shared debts as well as the ages and general health of the parties can be considered, in addition to the impact of a spousal support award on taxes. Finally, the court must assess whether the marriage involved domestic violence and whether one spouse’s career was affected by a decision to stay home and care for shared children. Each of these factors has additional instructions and guidelines to assist the judge in deciding. Since there are so many factors, it can be difficult to know how your situation may be resolved.

Contact a Knowledgeable Spousal Support Lawyer in Colusa or Lake County

Spousal support proceedings can be stressful for both parties. Whether you are worried about your ability to make a payment or concerned that you may not be able to support yourself following a divorce, it is critical that you understand your legal rights so that you can present the strongest case possible. At Hinely Law, we have assisted clients throughout Lake, Colusa, Yuba, and Sutter Counties. Our team of legal professionals offers a free consultation to help you learn more about how we can help you and about your potential options. Call us now at (530) 458-2950 or contact us online.