Seasoned Family Law Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Individuals in San Diego
Divorce is always a difficult time for everyone involved. We understand that the legal process needed to finalize the proceedings can be emotionally taxing. At Jenkins P.C., our family law lawyers understand the stress involved and take the time to sit down with each of our San Diego clients to thoroughly discuss their options. We are committed to helping you navigate every aspect of your divorce, including the issue of spousal support. We take pride in providing all of our clients with high-quality representation designed to advance their specific needs and goals.
Calculating Spousal Support Payments
Often referred to as “alimony,” spousal support refers to payments that must be made by the higher-earning spouse to the lesser-earning spouse after the divorce. The payments are intended to allow the lesser-earning spouse to maintain the lifestyle to which he or she is accustomed. In California, there are two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent.
Temporary spousal support orders are set at your initial hearing. These are designed to set the amount of payment for the interim period until a final determination is made about permanent support. In other words, the duration of temporary support is only until the final judgment is rendered. This calculation, much like the permanent spousal support calculation, is tailored to the lesser-earning spouse’s needs and the higher-earning spouse’s ability to pay.
Prior to the court making a determination about permanent spousal support, the judge has considerable discretion to examine a wide variety of factors, which often include:
- The marital standard of living;
- Each spouse’s occupation and income;
- Each spouse’s earning potential;
- Each spouse’s contribution to education and career;
- The length of the marriage;
- Minor children;
- Age and health; and
- The need for support and the ability to pay.
Under California law, alimony is automatically terminated upon the death or remarriage of the supported party. Like many things in life, it is almost inevitable that the circumstances of both of the former spouses will change over time. If there is a major change in the financial circumstances of one party, the court has the authority to make modifications to the support order.
Alimony is not a punitive measure intended to reward or punish a particular spouse. Instead, it is a practical tool to help one spouse become self-sufficient so he or she can maintain a separate household. Thus, even permanent support will rarely last throughout the course of a lifetime. Typically, spousal support will continue for half the length of a marriage if the total length of the marriage was under 10 years. On the other hand, in marriages that lasted 10 years or more, the court can use its discretion in determining how long the payments need to continue.
Contact a San Diego Lawyer for Advice During a Divorce
The experienced divorce lawyers of Jenkins P.C. are committed to providing San Diego residents with capable legal representation. We believe that an open line of communication is vital to the success of an attorney-client relationship. We will take the time to explain your legal rights and encourage our clients to voice any concerns they may have. We believe in settling cases as efficiently as possible, but we are not afraid to fight for your rights in the courtroom if necessary. We represent clients from Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, Poway, La Jolla, and Encinitas, among other communities throughout the region. To learn more, call us at 858-314-2400.