California Spousal Support Attorneys for the LGBT Community
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What is spousal support?
Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, is a partner’s legal obligation to provide financial assistance to his or her spouse post-divorce. Contrary to popular belief, spousal support is a relatively uncommon legal obligation. In California, approximately 15% of LGBT divorces require one partner to pay the other spousal support. Divorcing LGBT couples often tirelessly negotiate spousal support agreements. Without a proper attorney, you may not reach your ideal spousal support agreement. Pride Legal’s network of LGBT-friendly and LGBT spousal support attorneys will help you reach an ideal spousal support agreement.
Am I or my spouse obligated to pay spousal support/alimony?
A California court may order one spouse to pay a specific amount of money to the other spouse on a monthly basis. These continual payments are commonly referred to as spousal support or alimony.
A former spouse or domestic partner may request alimony or spousal support when any of the following circumstances are present:
Now, just because a spouse requests spousal support does not mean that he or she will be granted it. While the divorce case is underway, spouses can be compensated under a “temporary spousal support order” or a “temporary partner support order.” This can be negotiated by a spousal support lawyer.
After the divorce, the temporary spousal support order can be made long-term or permanent.
If granted, how much will the spousal support/alimony payments be?
California judges typically calculate spousal support payments through a specific formula. Click here to be directed to the California Spousal Support Calculator, where you can find an estimate of your spousal support agreement according to your specific county’s laws.
However, according to California Family Code Section 4320, California judges must consider the following factors when calculating spousal support agreements:
- Each spouse’s age
- Each spouse’s education
- Each spouse’s health
- Federal and state taxes
- Individual debts and property
- Joint debts and property
- The couple’s standard of living prior to divorce
- The length of marriage or domestic partnership
- What both spouses can afford to maintain their standard of living
- Whether the couple had children during their marriage
- Whether the relationship involved domestic violence
- Which parent is mainly responsible for the children
- Other personal and financial factors
Does the length of same-sex marriage or domestic partnership affect spousal support?
Yes, the length of the same-sex marriage or domestic partnership has a significant effect on spousal support. Specifically, the 10-year mark is a significant milestone in marriages.
Can spousal support agreements be reached outside of court?
Yes, spousal support agreements can be reached outside of court, either between the couple themselves or with the assistance of a mediator. This type of spousal support agreement is referred to as stipulation.
However, it is crucial to understand your rights and courses of actions as a spouse. By hiring a gay or lesbian spousal support attorney, you can be informed of your rights as an LGBT spouse. A spousal support attorney can help you avoid paying more or receiving less than you should. To protect your interests, you should consider hiring a spousal support if your spouse has done so as well.
How long will I receive or be obligated to pay spousal support for?
Typically, spouses married for less than 10 years usually receive spousal support for half the duration of the marriage. On the other hand, spouses married for over 10 years usually receive spousal support until remarriage or death, depending on the circumstances.
However, if the bread-winning partner is aged 65, he or she is entitled to retire and cannot be legally obligated to work beyond that age. If this is the case, the partner paying alimony can request to cease spousal support payments.
Will I still have to pay alimony after my ex-spouse gets remarried?
No. Spousal support typically ends once one of the ex-spouses remarries or enters a new domestic partnership.
Do I still have to pay spousal support if my ex-spouse is not looking for a job?
You cannot force your spouse to look for work. But, you could request that the court lower spousal support payments if the supported spouse is not looking for a job.
Also, if it can be proven that your spouse is intentionally avoiding work, a court can determine an estimated salary your wife could earn if she worked. Your supporting salary would be based off of this potential income, ultimately lowering your obligated alimony payments.
If you can prove that your ex is deliberately unemployed, the court may impute income based on what your ex could earn, and base your support obligation on that imputed income. This will obviously make your support obligation lower.
Do I still have to pay spousal support if my ex-spouse is intentionally avoiding marriage?
Although remarriage would end your spousal support obligations, you obviously cannot force force your ex-spouse to remarry. However, if you and your lawyer can prove that your ex-spouse is living with or receiving income from his or her new partner, you may be able to reduce or cease your obligation to pay spousal support.
Do I have to pay spousal support if I lose my job?
If your source of income is debilitated, you are entitled to ask a California court to modify your spousal support agreement.
It is important to contact a California court as soon as you feel that you are financially debilitated. That way, your spousal support payments would be reduced at an earlier date.
How can I cease long-term alimony payments?
If you ex is able to earn her own income, you may be able to request a termination of spousal support in a California court.
If I can prove that my spouse committed adultery, do I still have to pay spousal support?
With regard to divorce, California is a “no-fault” states. This means that a spouse’s conduct (such as adultery) will not be considered when awarding spousal support.
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