Types of Spousal Support | The Law Offices of Nigel Burns

Types of Spousal Support

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When you or your partner decides that it's time for a divorce, the topic of spousal support may be on the horizon. Spousal support, also called alimony, is a type of financial support that one spouse may be required to pay the other. This can be temporary or permanent, depending on a ruling by a judge.

What Is Alimony?

Alimony is financial support that is aimed at limiting the unfair economic effects of a divorce. This provides a continuous income to a lower-wage or non-wage-earning spouse so they can maintain a similar standard of living which they had during their marriage. During the divorce proceedings, alimony is going to be one of the biggest topics to discuss.

Your family law attorney Los Angeles will explain that both the amount of the monthly support and the length that it will be provided will highly depend on a few different factors. Each state has its own laws regarding spousal support. Some states won't allow it to be issued unless a marriage lasted for at least 10 years. In other states, spousal support may only last for a duration equal to that of the marriage. Your spousal support lawyer Los Angeles can reveal your state restrictions for the maximum length of spousal support.

Temporary Support During A Pending Divorce

Your alimony attorney Los Angeles can assist you in filing for temporary spousal support during the divorce process. If you and your spouse decide on a temporary support amount, it should be put into writing. This will make the payments from the spouse paying the support tax-deductible.

Rehabilitative And Short-Term Support

In the event of a short marriage, a judge may order short-term support. This type of spousal support is limited to lasting only a few years, at most. The court will simply set a precise ending date that the funding spouse can stop paying spousal support.

Rehabilitative support is a unique type of short-term support that helps the dependent spouse get back into the workforce. Lawyers for alimony in Los Angeles may refer to this type of spousal support as a bridge the gap support. It's designed to allow the dependent spouse time to get retrained for the job market.

Unlike other short-term support options, this type of spousal support doesn't come along with a specific cease date. Your spousal support lawyer Los Angeles will reveal that the judge will cease the payments once the dependent partner completes a retraining program and finds employment in their specified industry.

Long-Term Support

Long-term or permanent alimony after divorce is only allowed is some specific states. This type of support is usually granted after a very long marriage ends, and it's determined that the dependent spouse will not reenter the workforce. This type of support remains indefinite until one of three scenarios happens. These include:

  • Either Spouse Dies
  • When the dependent spouse remarries.
  • When the dependent spouse begins living with another individual where mutual financial responsibilities are shared.

Reimbursement Support

Your family law attorney Los Angeles may decide to file for reimbursement support if you're eligible. This type of spousal support is the only kind that isn't based on financial need. Rather, it's aimed at reimbursing a spouse that sacrificed education, career advancement, or training during the marriage while the other spouse was pursuing their professional career. 

This type of situation typically happens when one spouse undergoes the process of advancing in their field to obtain a higher paying job. This is done with the intent that the other spouse will be capable of pursuing a higher paying job in their field next. When the marriage ends before the second spouse can pursue their higher paying career, then a reimbursement support may be requested.

How Is The Alimony Amount Determined?

Your alimony attorney Los Angeles will reveal that judges use various factors when determining just how much spousal support they're going to offer. The Uniform Marriage And Divorce Act was adopted by many states as a basis for recommendations regarding the right alimony amount. It advises the judge to take all of the following into consideration when making their decision:

  • The age, health, emotional state, and financial condition of the spouses.
  • The time needed for education and training to become self-sufficient.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • The ability of the paying spouse to support themself and their ex-spouse.
  • The standard of living endured during the marriage.

How Is An Alimony Order Enforced?

All lawyers for alimony in Los Angeles will tell you that an alimony order is just the first step in receiving financial support. Unlike child support, the enforcement of alimony doesn't use wage garnishment. Instead, you'll have to return to the court to a contempt proceeding to force payment of owed alimony.

Why Hire A Lawyer?

When you want to seek alimony after divorce, it's best to hire an experienced lawyer to fight your case. They are familiar with legal proceedings surrounding legal separation and are knowledgeable about typical alimony amounts for situations similar to yours. They can give you a good idea of what amount you can reasonably seek to be awarded.

Experiencing a divorce can be a stressful process. Understanding what types of spousal support that you may be entitled to is a must to ensure that you're getting the financial cushion you need to continue to live at your familiar standard of living. While you can certainly file for alimony after divorce on your own, it can be challenging to understand the mounds of legal jargon involved throughout the entire process.

You may miss filing necessary documents or falter in proving why you need a specific type of spousal support. An experienced lawyer can take care of all this difficult paperwork and act as a mediator between you and your ex-spouse. This takes a lot of the burden off of your individual plate throughout the entire divorce process.

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