Spousal Support Lawyer Los Angeles | The Law Offices of Nigel Burns

Los Angeles Spousal Support Attorney

Our Aggressive Alimony Attorney in Los Angeles Will Get You the Best Results

Spousal support is the continuous payment by one spouse to another so that they can maintain a certain standard of living following a divorce. An initial determination of spousal support is made at the time of the divorce, based on each party’s income, during the marriage, and individual needs. Typically, such support is awarded in the form of monthly payments. 

At the Law Offices of Nigel Burns, our family law attorneys in Los Angeles are experienced in both obtaining favorable support orders for our clients and opposing spousal support orders that are inappropriate or unmanageable.

When and Why Spousal Support is Issued

Spousal support is issued after a divorce and should not be taken lightly by either party. The court orders that are issued and enforced are final and cannot be modified once a decision is made. Unless certain circumstances occur, such as a spouse’s passing or remarrying, amendments are not permitted. 

Due to the nature of permanence, this agreement has both parties should consult with an alimony lawyer to discuss concerns regarding changes to one’s financial situation.

For a spouse to qualify for alimony, the marriage must meet the requirement of passing the five year mark. In addition to the divorce, the court must go through an extensive review before legally allowing financial support. A judge will assess the following:

  • How much each spouse has earned over a course of time
  • Assets and property, both separate and combined
  • If one or both are in debt (ex. Student debt, loan debt, credit debt)
  • Whether one or both have a shared business
  • The contributions made throughout the marriage
  • If spousal support was legally promised through a prenup
  • Health conditions
  • Physical conditions

At the Law Offices of Nigel Burns, we have taken on and won many cases regarding spousal support. From client experience, we understand that divorce is a challenging time for both parties to get through. If you have questions or want to learn more, our team provides legal articles for your reference below.

How Living Together Affects Current Alimony Payments

Alimony payments are intended to support someone’s financial interests once their marriage has legally ended in the event they relied on your spouse’s income. A common example is giving up on a career to support a spouse or child. 

It’s not unusual for recent divorcees to find themselves at a financial disadvantage at the time of the divorce. Legal counsel is required to reach an amount of alimony for the necessary length of time you deserve it can be challenging. Unless stated in a prenup, your spouse is not legally required to provide long-term support. It can be negotiated!

The arrangement is subject to change if you meet someone else when you are relying on spousal support. There is a grey area for those that do not remarry but move in with someone else. California law mandates living with your significant other reduces your need for support. Though, if it does not you must be able to prove that you still require alimony payment. The judge will determine if it should be reduced or terminated.

Changing the Amount of Spousal Support

If one party is dissatisfied with the amount of alimony obtained, it may be possible to adjust the spousal support. The judge will determine the legal decision based on the circumstances of the persons involved. However, how many adjustments can be made depends on the contractual agreement. Alimony changes may only be made if qualifications are met, such as: 

  • If both ex-spouses agree to change the alimony amount
  • If either spouse’s income significantly changes
  • If one spouse becomes disabled and cannot work
  • If either spouse experiences a cost-of-living increase

 During the pandemic, we recognize that it has been especially difficult for families to make ends meet. From getting laid off to being ordered to stay home from work, it can impact the amount of support provided. If you and your ex-partner have difficulty reaching an agreement, you should contact a lawyer for support payments.

Types of Spousal Support

Our attorneys will provide you with information on four types of support, which are:

  1. Temporary Support – financial assistance for your spouse only during the divorce process.
  2. Rehabilitation and Short-Term Support – support payment is provided for a few years to help an ex-partner re-adjust after the divorce. The court will provide an end date. Rehabilitative support is a form of short-term support, allowing an ex-partner to get back into the workforce but there is no end date.
  3. Long Term Support – a specific binding agreement that varies per state. A financially stable spouse will help to support their ex after the marriage ends. Child support is an additional expense if the former couple has children. 
  4. Reimbursement Support – This is not based on financial need. Instead, it reimburses one’s former spouse for putting career advancement or education on hold during the marriage.

Do I Need To Hire A Lawyer For Spousal Support?

If you are requesting spousal support the court requires you to provide proof, from legal documents to financial statements. A legal professional should sit down to consult with you to evaluate the evidence and determine if you qualify. 

If you face the possibility of paying spousal support, seek legal counsel from a trusted spousal support attorney at Burns Attorneys to negotiate clear terms of your spousal support agreement. 

FAQs about Spousal Support 

If you’re going through a divorce, you may have a lot of questions about the possibility of giving or receiving alimony. In an effort to clear up confusion surrounding the concept of spousal support, our attorneys have listed a few questions clients repeatedly ask us below.

What is the Purpose of Alimony?

Alimony exists to provide a spouse with "reasonable and necessary" support. Alimony is given to those who show they need financial support and who have an ex-spouse with the ability to provide financial support.

What Is Separate Maintenance?

Separate maintenance is used when the spouses live apart or have a legal separation. Separate maintenance is financial support paid from one spouse to the other while they have not yet gone through the divorce process. The court will get involved only if one spouse is determined to “genuinely need” financial support and if the other spouse with money fails or refuses to support them.

What Do I Do If I Want Alimony?

Alimony should be asked for as part of a divorce proceeding. If you and your spouse reach an agreement about alimony, you can ask the judge to include this agreement in the court order.

If you cannot reach an agreement, the judge will decide whether or not you are entitled to alimony.

What If I Don't Ask for Alimony During the Divorce, but Later I Decide I Need It?

You must request alimony during your divorce proceeding, as you are not allowed to ask for it at a later time.

Spousal Support in California
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