If you are going through a divorce in Covina, California, you probably have questions about paying or receiving spousal support. Spousal support can make a divorce case more complicated and adversarial, which is why it might be necessary to seek legal counsel to protect your rights and help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible.
Over the past few decades, I have successfully litigated hundreds of divorce cases in Covina and throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties. I have a clear understanding of California divorce and spousal support laws and can explain to you your legal rights. I represent spouses who want to obtain spousal support and those who could be ordered to pay spousal support during or after the divorce proceedings. Reach out to me – Eugene F. Cristiano, Attorney at Law – and I will advocate for your rights and help you negotiate a favorable arrangement.
Spousal support, also known as alimony, refers to payments made from one spouse to another during or after the divorce. The purpose of making spousal support payments is to help a lower-earning or economically disadvantaged spouse have a standard of living reasonably comparable to the standard established during the marriage. Spousal support is ordered to provide an opportunity for the recipient spouse to become self-supporting.
California law recognizes four types of spousal support:
Temporary. Temporary spousal support is meant to provide financial support to the economically disadvantaged spouse until the divorce is final or a permanent spousal support agreement is in place.
Permanent. Permanent spousal support could go on forever after the divorce is final. However, the parties could seek a modification if there has been a change in circumstances.
Rehabilitative. This type of spousal support provides financial support to the lower-earning spouse to give them time to become self-supporting.
Reimbursement. The purpose of this spousal support is to reimburse one spouse for the expenses of the other.
According to California Family Code § 4320, family courts in Covina and elsewhere in California consider a number of factors when awarding spousal support, including:
The duration of the marriage
Each spouse’s earnings and income
The needs of each spouse
The standard of living established during the marriage
The age and health of each spouse
The assets and debts of both spouses
Each spouse’s contribution to the education or career of one another
Whether or not there were instances of domestic violence during the marriage
Under California law, spousal support orders are automatically terminated upon the death of any party or the remarriage of the recipient spouse. However, parties can also request a modification of the existing spousal support order if they can prove a substantial change in circumstances, such as involuntary job loss.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect at the beginning of 2019, repealed deductions for spousal support payments once and for all. Before the Act, the recipient spouse could claim spousal support payments as income, while the payor could count these payments as a tax deduction.
Today, now that the Act is in effect, ex-spouses in divorces finalized after January 1, 2019, cannot count spousal support payments as a tax deduction, while recipients can no longer claim spousal support as income.
Having an attorney on your side can help you move forward, whether you are seeking spousal support or are being asked to pay spousal support. If you are seeking spousal support during your divorce, your lawyer can ensure that you receive the proper and fair amount.
If your spouse wants you to pay spousal support, your attorney will determine whether the spousal support award would be appropriate. If awarding spousal support is appropriate, your attorney will make sure that you are not ordered to pay more than is required by state law.
If you are going through a divorce, you can rely on the experience and knowledge of a skilled family law attorney in obtaining, modifying, and negotiating spousal support arrangements. I can advise you every step of the way to make the process of negotiating spousal support less stressful. I represent clients in Covina and other parts of California to protect their rights and help them achieve favorable spousal support agreements. Contact Eugene F. Cristiano, Attorney at Law, to discuss your unique case.