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 to 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 or alimony is provided in situations regarding divorce or legal separation. Spousal support should not be taken lightly for 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 and receiving support from a new partner, amendments are not permitted. Due to the nature of permanence, this agreement has both parties should consult with a family 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 lasting more than the minimum 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 duration of 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 your financial interests once the marriage has legally ended if you relied on your spouse’s income. A common example is giving up or putting your career on hold to support your spouse or family. In this case, you may find yourself at a financial disadvantage at the time of the divorce. However, without legal counsel reaching an agreeable amount of alimony that you deserve for the 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 depending on the legal guidance your attorney provides.

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

Laws pertaining to spousal support vary per state, with specific requirements. Some states will not allow it to be issued unless a marriage lasted for a minimum of 5-10 years. Additionally, the financial assistance provided might only last for a duration equal to that of the marriage. This article provides information on four types of support.

-       Temporary Support – financial assistance for your spouse only during the divorce process.

-       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.

-       Long Term Support – 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.

-       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.

Differences Between Alimony vs. Spousal Support

Depending on the state where you were married or divorced, alimony may not be considered the same as spousal support. Alimony refers to the payments made after a divorce as a way of cushioning financial impacts from a divorce. The end goal is to help the spouse maintain a certain living standard that was obtained throughout the marriage. In California, some cases permit the support to be considered as alimony however, “spousal support” is mandated as a universal term because it acts as non-confrontational language. Compared to how alimony is viewed in California, the alternative term is more positive with less negative connotations.

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, evaluate the evidence and determine if you qualify. If you do, he or she will work toward making sure you are supported, and your needs are covered. If you face the possibility of paying spousal support, seek legal counsel from a trusted spousal support attorney at the Law Offices of Nigel Burns, to ensure to negotiate clear terms that take into consideration prospective scenarios that can take place. For instance, getting fired will cause you to lose health insurance and a steady stream of income. When you undergo financial hardship it will be challenging to meet scheduled payments and file an appeal with the court. Under special circumstances the court may reduce the monetary amount, but will not completely rid the responsibility.

 

Spousal Support in California
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