Divorce in Santa Rosa usually requires both spouses to confront several issues, from determining custody of their children and settling child support terms to dividing their marital property. Your upcoming divorce is likely to influence your financial support in many ways, likely for years to come. It’s common for people who are divorcing to disagree on the financial elements of their divorces, and it’s understandable for anyone to desire to preserve their individual financial interests in a divorce.
Whatever your situation may entail, the right lawyer can make a tremendous difference in how your upcoming family court case comes out. A Santa Rosa spousal support attorney is the ideal resource to consult if there is a significant difference between your financial situation and your spouse’s. For example, when one spouse earns more income than the other and/or the lower-earning spouse depends entirely on the higher-earning spouse financially, spousal support could come into play as an element of their divorce.
The Carroll Law Office has extensive professional experience helping clients in the Santa Rosa area approach their divorces with greater confidence and peace of mind. We know your divorce is likely to impose various financial obstacles on you in the future, and spousal support can easily be one of the most frustrating elements of any divorce. Whatever your situation, a Santa Rosa spousal support lawyer is the best ally to assist you through the difficult legal proceedings you face in family court.
Spousal support, often called alimony, is money paid by one ex-spouse to the other following divorce to account for a significant difference in earning power and/or other clear financial need. Most spousal support arrangements ordered in California are temporary, but permanent alimony may be awarded under special circumstances. For example, if the divorcing spouses are very old and the lower-earning spouse is unable to find gainful employment, or if one spouse is permanently disabled in any way, a judge could consider factors like these grounds to approve permanent alimony.
When temporary alimony is ordered in the Santa Rosa family court, the length of time these payments must continue typically hinges on the length of time the marriage lasted. The amount that must be included in each payment depends on how much each spouse earns, but the typical formula is just a baseline to estimate what your spousal support terms might include. The formula is 40% of the higher earner’s income minus half the income of the spouse who earns less. If divorcing spouses earn $10,000 and $4,000 each month, their formula for spousal support would be $2,000, subtracted from $4,000 for a monthly obligation of $2,000 in support.
Many variables can influence a spousal support determination. For example, a divorcing couple may have a prenuptial contract that includes a postnuptial clause regarding spousal support. When a divorcing couple chooses an alternative dispute resolution for their divorce, the higher-earning spouse may attempt to offer a large lump sum payment and/or a greater part of the marital property to offset the need to continue paying alimony. Some divorcing spouses would prefer to resolve spousal support outright in this manner, while others may prefer smaller ongoing payments.
The purpose of spousal support is to ensure the supported spouse is able to maintain a standard of living similar to what they had while married. The paying spouse is legally required to make their payments on time and in full. However, life can present unpredictable challenges, and it’s possible for a paying spouse to experience a sudden and unexpected life event that influences their ability to meet their support obligation. It’s also possible for a sudden change in income and/or living circumstances to make a current spousal support obligation unreasonable.
You have the right to petition the Santa Rosa family court for reasonable changes to a standing family court order if you have experienced any sudden change that materially influences the terms of the order. For example, if you believe you have grounds to seek release from your support obligation or a change in the amount you are required to pay, a Santa Rosa spousal support lawyer is the best resource to consult to determine how you can implement these changes. Once you submit your petition, a hearing is scheduled, and all parties involved in the order may speak on the issue before a judge. If there is no contest, and/or the judge determines the petition valid and reasonable, they can implement the desired changes with immediate effect.
Alimony can also terminate based on the actions of the recipient. If you receive alimony from your ex in Santa Rosa, your support order includes a list of terminating actions that, once taken, eliminate your ex’s support obligation. The most commonly reported terminating actions are substantial increases in income, remarrying a new partner, or moving in with someone new. If you pay alimony and believe your ex has failed to disclose a terminating action, you should immediately consult your Santa Rosa spousal support attorney.
An experienced legal team can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of any family court case, especially one as likely to be contentious as a spousal support dispute. Regardless of whether you expect to pay or receive alimony out of your divorce, an experienced attorney is the best resource to consult to ensure your spousal support determination is fair and reasonable. They can also address any concerns you may have about related elements of your divorce, such as property division, child support, and more.
The Carroll Law Office has years of experience representing clients in the California family court system, and we know the challenges you are likely to face in your efforts to resolve spousal support in your divorce. Our team takes time to learn as much as possible about each client’s unique situation to provide carefully tailored legal counsel, and we have substantial experience handling divorces involving complex financial disputes. If you are preparing to file for divorce or already have a divorce order and need to modify its terms, we can help. Contact the Carroll Law Office today to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced Santa Rosa spousal support attorney.
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