As a San Diego lawyer, we help couples throughout the area as they go through a divorce. One common question that we get is about spousal support. Many spouses that were staying home or only working part time become concerned that they will be unable to support themselves. This is understandable considering it takes time to reenter the workforce. If you are seeking spousal support, here is what you need to know:
There are several types of alimony or spousal support. Temporary alimony may be awarded while the couple is separated but not yet divorced. In many cases, couples continue to share a bank account and pay bills jointly while going through the process. This is a way to formalize the finances to ensure support. Another type of alimony is for rehabilitation and provides for a spouse as they are going back to school or doing other activities in order to reach the point where they can support themselves. Simultaneously, alimony can be awarded to strictly reimburse these types of expenses. Permanent alimony is where a spouse continues to receive funds until they die, remarry or for a set and prolonged period of time. This can be in the form of monthly payments or in a lump sum.
As a San Diego lawyer, we know that the amount of alimony that a person receives is different in every case. In some divorces, no alimony is given because both spouses earn an income and are self-sustaining. In other circumstances, it is awarded but after the judge takes into accounts several factors starting with a review of the financial situation and standard of living that was maintained during the marriage. If the couple had a high standard of living, more alimony would typically be awarded than if they were living on a tight budget. It is all in relation to what life was like during the marriage. The judge will also take into consideration the ability of the payer to continue supporting themselves while still paying alimony.
In determining how much a spouse should be awarded, a judge will also look at age and potential ability to support themselves along with the length of the marriage. For example, someone that is getting divorced after being married a couple of years and is in their thirties or prime working years, will probably get less alimony than someone that is near retirement age. This is to ensure that those who did not support themselves during the marriage and would potentially be unable to do so will still maintain some standard of living and not suffer great harm due to a divorce. On the other hand, those that are capable of earning a living may only be granted support for a short period while they get back on their feet.
Every case is different so to find out what your chances are of receiving alimony and what a potential award would be, schedule a consultation. As a San Diego lawyer, we can represent you both in and out of court to ensure that your rights are protected as you go through a divorce.