• By: The Law Offices Of Diane Anderson
  • Published: April 13, 2020

Is Alimony Or Spousal Support Always Awarded In A California Divorce Case?

Alimony and spousal support or any type of support is the same, and it is potentially awarded to the spouse with less income from the higher earner. There is a software program called a Dissomaster or an X-spouse that calculates an amount. To calculate the amount, you plug in the income, health care, and certain deductions. It really is that simple.

What Are Valid Reasons To Modify Spousal Support?

There are valid reasons to modify spousal support. It typically depends on whether it’s a permanent or final order. If it’s temporary, that can always be modified because of a change. If it’s final, it depends on what’s written in the marital settlement agreement. If it says that the court loses jurisdiction, then it can never be changed. You usually want to retain jurisdiction in case there’s a change in circumstances that allow either a raise or an end in support.

What Factors Do California Courts Consider In Determining Custody Or Parenting Time?

In California, as long as you’re a parent, it’s the general standard of 50/50, unless one parent is an alcoholic, drug addict, or abusive. The court feels that both parents are vital to a child’s development. However, the Department of Child Support Services does not believe that there can be a true 50/50. So, they have what is called custodial parent and non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent has visitation. In their mind, it can only be 49/51. But the family law courts will adhere to 50/50, especially to whoever pays child support. It’s similar to spousal support. It’s all about the income, and it’s all about how much custody time and visitation the parent has.

What Other Assets May Come Into Play In A High Asset Divorce Case?

In a high asset divorce case, there’s a percentage of a bonus that the other spouse will get. It is difficult because it’s a bonus, and you don’t know what it’s going to be. The court will order a percentage of that bonus.

When Can A Final Support Or Custody Order Be Modified?

Child custody can only be modified due to a change in circumstances. The court wants to give the kids stability. Unless you had a change in circumstance, you have to go to court and trial. Then the court’s going to maintain the decision in the final judgment, and then, as far as support, it depends on how your final marital settlement agreement is written. If it says the court no longer has jurisdiction, you don’t get to change it. If the court has jurisdiction, then they will ask – Why do you need the change? Why do you believe you need more? Or, why do you believe the other person needs less? Then you just have to prove the facts. I always tell clients that the facts prove the case.

What Factors Do Courts Consider In The Division Of Assets And Debts In A Divorce?

In California, it is all 50/50, which includes assets and debt. This is also where some bankruptcies can come into play. I sometimes have clients that will file a bankruptcy because then there is no debt to divide. Sometimes, I’ll have one spouse who will want to file a bankruptcy but the other non-filing spouse will insist on being held harmless on the mutual debt in the marital settlement agreement and this defeats the purpose of filing a bankruptcy. I think one of the biggest things that I try to explain to clients is that it’s no longer you and me. It is now “us”, and when you created us, you created a community, and that community is what’s being divided.

A lot of times, one party will get really upset about sharing their retirement, but in reality, it is not just the one spouse’s retirement. When you worked, the retirement was for the community. It’s unfortunate that you no longer want to be married to this person, but that does not alleviate you from having to share your retirement with them because while you were working getting retirement, the other party was working doing something as well.

For more information on Alimony/Spousal Support In A Divorce Case, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (209) 729-7477 today.

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