How a Judge Decides the Alimony Amount | Burns Attorneys  

How a Judge Decides the Alimony Amount

Hire a Family Court Attorney to Make Sure Your Ex Doesn’t Take Advantage of You

If your marriage has come to an end, you are going to go through the process of dividing your property and finances. Unlike a long-term relationship where you’d negotiate the division of the assets with your partner, divorce has certain requirements before you can call yourself truly detached from your ex.

While issues such as child custody and visitation rights are messy and vary from case to case, deciding the size of alimony payments is much more cut-and-dry. However, you will need a judge to give the final say on how much money you will be receiving or giving to your ex-spouse each month.

Since legal systems were involved during your marriage, they are going to need to be involved during your disunion. It’s possible to settle divorce matters outside of court, but you are going to need legal professionals to be involved regardless. It’s recommended that you seek out the services of a lawyer for family issues in the Los Angeles area.

By hiring a Los Angeles divorce attorney, you can ensure that you receive fair and equal treatment compared to your ex. Your ex is likely already making calls to divorce lawyers in the LA area so that they are best prepared for the financial battle, so you should make sure you’re prepared to. The Law Offices of Nigel Burns is comprised of lawyers for alimony in Los Angeles who know all about divorce, property division, and alimony in California.

An attorney from The Law Offices of Nigel Burns will provide aggressive, personalized, and informed counsel so that your alimony payments are not going to break the bank each month.

How Does a Judge Decide the Alimony Amount?

When deciding the amount of alimony that must be paid, the California courts will examine:

  • The income amount that each partner makes each month
  • The reasonable expenses each spouse is met with each month
  • Whether an alimony award from one to the other would make it possible for each to go forward with a lifestyle somewhat close to what the couple had before they split—known in divorce law as “the standard of living established during the marriage.”

As you already know, marrying someone combines your finances and assets, and many people are incentivized to get married due to the financial gain and tax breaks. When you’re married, you can file joint taxes and save money on rent since two people are occupying the space of one. When you divorce, at least one of you is going to take a hit financially.

Oftentimes in divorce, there isn’t enough money on either side for both parties to reestablish the same level of financial stability they had when their assets were joined. This marital standard of living is difficult to maintain once the marriage has ended, so most family court judges will seek out a way to make the divorcing parties share the financial pain equally. This isn’t the ideal solution, but it’s the way California courts can try to make things equal.

Are Savings Included in Spousal Support?

Married couples often have a joint savings account as well, so how do the courts divide finances that aren’t in a liquid bank account? Since spousal support is meant to help a partner maintain the established standard of living, you may feel like your savings account doesn’t affect it.

However, California courts agree that your savings accounts are a reflection of your quality of life. To quote a 1926 state court decision, “We fail to see why Wife should be deprived of her accustomed lifestyle just because it involved the purchase of stocks and bonds rather than fur coats.”

Therefore, the amount of money that a couple has in stocks, bonds, or any other kind of account should be reflected in the alimony amount. If you are a spouse who does not feel like the marriage’s combined finances and assets are being properly counted, retain the services of an experienced family law specialist in Los Angeles to help you.

An Underpaid Spouse

While it may not matter to you either way what your spouse does for work, it actually does matter during the divorce. If the courts find out that your spouse is working a job where they are underearning, this may affect the alimony amount. For example, if a spouse has a degree in accounting but finds the field too stressful and decides to work an hourly clerk job, the courts will see them as underpaid. Therefore, the judge would configure the alimony amount based on the average annual salary an accountant earns in your city.

If you are the underpaid spouse but cannot return to your higher-paying field of work for whatever reason, let your alimony lawyer in Los Angeles know, and they can argue for this factor to be thrown out in your case. Hiring a skilled and experienced spousal support attorney in LA is crucial to what the amount of alimony ends up being.

About Our Law Firm

The Law Offices of Nigel Burns is a law firm for family issues, like those surrounding marriage, divorce, and adoption. These are personal matters, so it’s natural to become emotionally invested in your civil lawsuit; our attorneys can handle the legal process to minimize any stress that you may feel. Our attorneys are experts in civil litigation, ensuring that your lawsuit brings you the most favorable results. Our attorneys can help litigate:

  • Restraining orders
  • Divorce
  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Property division
  • Trust and probate litigation

Our attorneys can also help you pursue compensation if you were in an accident and need to sue for damages. If you suffered a car wreck, bike accident, or were hit by a car as a pedestrian, we can get your personal injury lawsuit started. Our offices are located across greater Los Angeles, so accessibility shouldn’t be a problem. We’re also offering virtual services due to COVID-19. To see our full list of contact options, click here.

Call| Text