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San Diego Spousal Support Attorneys

Spousal Support in California

In many marriages, one spouse will bring a higher income to the marriage. Even in situations where two people with similar incomes marry, one may decide to put a career on hold for the benefit of the family as a whole, especially as children come along. In some marriages, one spouse will support the couple or family while the other advances his or her education and ability to provide for the family.  Contact an experienced San Diego, CA spousal support attorney for a free legal consultation.

Equal Contribution, Unequal Pay

Although both spouses may be making equal contributions to the family’s total well-being and quality of life, one will be providing most of the money, while the other will be performing the equally important task of child-rearing, home management, creating a positive home environment and, in some cases, working behind the scenes to advance the other’s career and reputation by creating or reinforcing important social relationships and being involved in the community. This typically involves sacrificing other opportunities for career and income advancement.

In a divorce where a couple have unequal incomes, the law deems it appropriate, in many cases, for the spouse who has been supported during the marriage to continue to receive support, commonly called alimony but referred to in California law as “spousal support.” Where the supported spouse has less earning potential than the supporting spouse, and especially when the supported spouse will continue to be the primary caretaker of the children, it is reasonable for the support to continue either permanently or temporarily, depending on the circumstances.

Considerations for Determining Spousal Support in California Law

California law gives the court a significant amount of discretion to determine whether spousal support is appropriate, and if it is, the amount and duration of the support. Ideally, the couple will agree between them on an appropriate support plan. Your lawyer will assist you in evaluating the factors that typically affect the determination of an award:

  • The ability of each to earn enough to maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • The skills and work experience of the supported spouse and the demand in the workplace for those skills
  •  The amount of time and the cost of education or job training required to develop marketable employment skills, where they are lacking
  • What the supported spouse sacrificed in earning capacity by quitting work to stay home to raise children, create a pleasant home environment for the family, and perform other domestic, social, and community functions
  •  Whether the supported spouse with custody of the children can work outside the home without a negative effect on the children
  • How much the supported spouse contributed to the supporting spouse’s career and earning ability, for example by providing for the family while the other was obtaining higher education in to obtain a university degree or professional status
  • The financial capability of the supporting party to pay spousal support
  • The, age, health, and specific needs of each party
  • The total assets and obligations of each party
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Any history of documented domestic violence
  • Tax considerations for each party

The Importance of Legal Counsel in Negotiating Spousal Support

It will be in your best interest to engage the services of an experienced and knowledgeable San Diego, CA family law attorney to represent your interests in spousal support negotiations with your spouse or before the court. At Boyd Law in San Diego, our skilled attorneys understand the legal and personal issues involved in the determination of spousal support in California and have a superior record of success in obtaining excellent results for our clients. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.