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Sherman Oaks Spousal Support Lawyer

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Determining spousal support obligations in Southern California can be a complex process. Many factors go into determining how much money you may have to provide your former spouse and for how long you’ll have to do it. If you’re trying to receive spousal support, you want to ensure you’re getting a fair amount to maintain your quality of life while you adjust to your new status as a single person. At Diarian & Bociaga, we have a proven track record of over a decade of success in helping spouses receive spousal support. Our family law attorneys in Sherman Oaks know what factors the courts consider when making spousal support determinations and will vigorously advocate for your rights. Contact us today by calling (818) 205-9090

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support is a legal obligation to your spouse. This obligation can begin either during or after the divorce is finalized. Spousal support laws aim to ensure the dependent or lower-earning spouse can maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage. In many cases, there is no limit to how long a spouse may receive spousal support; several important factors go into making that determination. However, the purpose of spousal support is not to provide one spouse with a permanent free ride. It’s to allow the lower-earning spouse a fair opportunity to become self-sufficient after and during a divorce. 

What Types of Spousal Support are Available in California?

Temporary Spousal Support

In California, there is temporary and long-term spousal support. Each type of spousal support is meant to support the dependent spouse in different stages of the divorce process. Temporary spousal support is granted during the divorce process. The purpose of temporary spousal support is to ensure the dependent spouse has financial stability while working out the divorce details. Divorce cases may be lengthy and contested, especially those involving high-net-worth individuals. The state of California emphasizes ensuring that the divorce process is not rushed or abused because one spouse is so financially destitute that they can not afford to support themselves while finalizing the details. Temporary spousal support ensures the providing spouse can not abuse their position to make the dependant spouse agree to less than fair divorce terms to get themselves on their feet financially.

Temporary spousal support is subject to limitations in marriages where domestic violence has occurred. According to Family Code Section 4325, if the supported spouse has been convicted of domestic violence against the supporting spouse, there is a rebuttable presumption that the convicted spouse is not entitled to spousal support. A rebuttable presumption means the court will assume that the convicted spouse is not entitled to spousal support unless other evidence suggests otherwise. Specific evidence that may overcome this rebuttable resumption is if the convicted spouse can demonstrate the support is necessary based on different factors like disparate incomes and their ability to maintain their standard of living without the support.

Temporary spousal support typically lasts until the divorce is finalized when the court issues a final judgment. The court has the discretion to modify the length of temporary spousal support if they find it necessary to do so before the divorce is finalized. Reasons for modifying temporary spousal support include significant changes in either spouse’s income, the discovery of previously undisclosed or underreported assets, changes in the needs of the couple’s children, and evidence of domestic violence between the spouses. Either party can file a motion requesting the court to modify a temporary spousal support order. The court will review the motion and determine if a modification is necessary.

Long-Term Spousal Support

Long-term spousal support, or rehabilitative alimony, provides the recipient spouse with the resources to become self-sufficient after a divorce. The court’s final judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation will determine this amount of spousal support. They may include evaluations and conditions to end support payments at the court’s discretion. Long-term spousal support is subject to change over time as the dependent spouse’s income increases. The judge may even set a termination date or leave the support order open to future determinations.

Many factors go into the court’s determination of the amount of spousal support owed under Family Code Section 4320. These factors include:

  • Spousal needs based on marital standard of living
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • Marketable skills
  • The ability of a supporting spouse to meet support obligations
  • The ability of a supported spouse to eventually become self-sufficient
  • Age of spouses
  • Health of spouses
  • Assets and debts of each spouse
  • Duration of marriage
  • Tax consequences of support payments
  • Balance of hardships experienced by the spouses

These factors represent some of the most common factors a court will consider when determining long-term spousal support. In addition to these factors enumerated by statute, courts can consider any other factor they deem important to making a fair decision. A Sherman Oaks divorce lawyer will help you navigate all of these complexities.

Can Spousal Support be Modified?

Spousal support in California may be modified under Family Code Section 4326 once finalized. Modification is possible when there has been a significant change in either spouse’s circumstances or otherwise agreed upon between the spouses. California has simplified the process for seeking a modification of spousal support through form FL-390, which allows the spouse to inform the other spouse about the request and details of why they are seeking the modification. Additionally, there will be automatic termination of spousal support upon the dependant spouse’s remarriage or the death of either partner.

Contact Us a Spousal Support Attorney in Sherman Oaks Today

Spousal support in Sherman Oaks can be a complicated process. If you’re seeking spousal support, having a skilled spousal support attorney in Sherman Oaks by your side during every step of the process is essential. An experienced Sherman Oaks spousal support lawyer can help you file the necessary paperwork to obtain support, negotiate and advocate on your behalf to protect your interests, and help you seek modifications if your spousal support order is unsatisfactory. Diarian & Bociaga are your go-to for all matters concerning divorce in California. We will leverage our years of experience to provide the support and guidance you need to navigate all the complexities of a divorce or legal separation in California. Contact us today to better understand how we can be of assistance in helping you with your spousal support matters.