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California has both temporary and post-judgment spousal support. If a marriage is less than 10 years old, it may be treated as a marriage of short duration. A spouse who has been married for less than 10 years may only receive spousal support for a period of half the length of the marriage, unless he or she is disabled or has other reasons why support should be for a longer period.
The Law Offices of Ronda A. Middleton provides information and guidance to individuals and couples preparing for divorce. Attorney Ronda A. Middleton advises clients on the type and duration of support that may be part of their separation and divorce.
Temporary spousal support may be ordered by the court or agreed upon by divorcing parties shortly after their separation. The purpose of temporary support is to maintain the status quo and permit the party to take the time to reorganize their financial lives. If one spouse has not been working, he or she may need time to either get training or find a job.
When the parties negotiate a complete resolution of their family law issues, or a court hears their case, a spouse’s need for post-judgment support may be part of the negotiations.
If a spouse has been married for longer than 10 years, they may have a right to life-time support. However, if the supported spouse has been out of the labor market for a period of time, they are expected to obtain training so they can get a job.
While there are more than 10 factors that are considered when addressing the issue of post-judgment support, a supported spouse would be mistaken if he or she thinks that they will not be expected to work.
If one spouse has had earnings that are much higher than the supported spouse can earn even after getting a paying position, some spousal support may be negotiated as part of a divorce agreement.
When a spouse is self-employed or owns a company, it may be necessary to retain the services of a forensic accountant and/or a vocational expert to assist in determining their actual earnings and earning potential. A spouse may choose to continue to operate his or her own business, but not at the expense of the children or the other spouse. For example, if a salaried individual with the skills of that spouse would earn $120,000 but they earn less than that amount while operating their own business, continuing the business may not be permitted, particularly where there are children who need support.
In addition, if a spouse receives income-producing assets in a property division during a dissolution action, the court can consider the income from these assets. A spouse cannot invest his or her assets in non-income-producing items, with the possible exception of purchasing a replacement residence.
The income tax consequences of spousal support affect the net amount received by the supported spouse. Spousal support is usually taxable as income to the recipient, and is deductible to the payer. Nontaxable spousal support can occur in negotiated settlements.
Because spousal support involves as many different factors as child support, it is important to seek advice from an attorney if you believe your divorce may include spousal support. Ronda A. Middleton can help. Call 714-680-9777 or send an email inquiry to request a consultation.
We represent clients in Orange County and Southern California in all types of family law matters involving divorce, mediation, property division and issues involving children. Call our Fullerton office at 714-680-9777 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We ensure a 24-hour response to all inquiries.
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