Roseville Spousal Support Lawyer
A divorce usually brings a considerable amount of uncertainty into the lives of the spouses. Finances can be a big part of that uncertainty. The state of California allows for spousal support—or alimony, as its often referred to casually—for spouses who may be at an economic disadvantage in beginning a new period of their life.
The Law Offices of James-Phillip V.M. Anderson provides compassionate and collaborative legal counsel to clients throughout Placer County, Nevada County, and Sacramento County. Call our Roseville spousal support lawyer today at (916) 282-7737 or reach out online to set up a consultation.
California Law on Spousal Support
California law on spousal support makes some important legal presumptions. Namely, the following…
- That the spouses made equivalent contributions to the marriage, even if one spouse’s contributions (e.g., raising children or caring for elderly parents) did not necessarily translate into income.
- That both spouses should be able to live the same lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage. Or ,if that’s not possible, that they should both reasonably share in any decline in any standard of living.
Those are the guiding legal principles that must be applied to the unique circumstances of each individual case.
Factors Determining Spousal Support in California
Spousal support is most likely to be applicable when there is a substantial gap between the income earned by one spouse and the income (if any) earned by the economically disadvantaged spouse. The state of California starts with a basic formula that goes like this…
- Take 40 of percent of the net salary of the higher-earning spouse.
- Reduce it by one-half of the economically disadvantaged spouse’s net income.
So, let’s say the higher-earning spouse is making $150,000 per year. We start with 40 percent of that, which is $60,000. The economically disadvantage spouse makes $50,000 per year. Half of that is $25,000. Thus, we take the difference between $60K and $25K, which is $35,000. That’s the annual spousal support payment, which will amount to a little over $2,900 per month.
Make sure you rely on a lawyer who understands all the ways spousal support payments can be increased or decreased depending on the circumstances. Call The Law Offices of James-Phillip V.M. Anderson at (916) 282-7737 or fill out our online contact form to arrange for a consultation.
This figure can serve as a starting point, but there are a wide range of factors, unique to each case, that can also be asked. Questions like these…
What are the job prospects for the economically disadvantaged spouse in both the short and long term?
Let’s say the economically disadvantaged spouse was very recently working in a career and stepped down to take care of children. This spouse may be able to ramp up their career again in relatively short order and earn an income that will support them in a lifestyle comparable to what was enjoyed during marriage.
This hypothetical situation may result in higher childcare costs. This is something that can be addressed separately in a child support plan. It’s important to note that spousal support and child support are two entirely different legal concepts. The latter is to pay for expenses involving the raising of children and is intended be used on behalf of the kids. Spousal support is money that is for the spouse.
A spouse whose job prospects may look more difficult might work out a spousal support plan that helps pay for vocational training or in some way buys the needed time necessary to get a career going.
How did the economically disadvantage spouse contribute to the career growth of the other spouse?
Let’s say the reason one spouse is earning a higher income is that they got an MBA degree, which was obtained during the marriage .If that’s the case, the cost of that degree was paid for by marital funds and the sacrifices in getting it were shared between the spouses. It’s only appropriate that a spousal support agreement ensure that both parties continue to benefit from the fruits of that degree .
How long did the marriage last?
This will be a significant factor. California law distinguishes between short-term marriages and long-term marriages, with the threshold point being 10 years. In a short-term marriage, spousal support payments can only last for half of the duration of the marriage.
There are no such limitations on spousal support in cases of marriages that lasted 10 years or longer. Factors that will be considered by a judge—and should therefore be considered by Roseville spousal support attorneys in settlement negotiations—will be just how long past 10 years and other unique circumstances. For example, the spouse who stayed at home to raise four children in a 30-year marriage will likely get a more generous support plan than the spouse married for 11 years and worked part-time while raising one child.
These are just a few examples of factors that can impact the final support plan. Others might be the health of the spouses, whether or not marital funds were blatantly wasted, and whether a parent that has child custody will still be responsible for raising children, and thus limited in their ability to pursue career advancement.
Collaborative & Compassionate Legal Counsel
At The Law Offices of James-Phillip V.M. Anderson, we know that clients need a listening ear. Then they need to know that their Roseville spousal support lawyer is in the legal trenches, fighting for their interests and advocating on their behalf. That’s what we offer to each person who walks through our door. From our Roseville office, we serve all Placer County, and our clientele goes throughout Nevada County and Sacramento County.
Call today at (916) 282-7737 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a lawyer to get a divorce?A:
Strictly speaking, the answer is no. The state of California allows people to represent themselves. But—and yes, we understand we’re biased—there is a lot that is missed out on when a reliable and experienced attorney isn’t present. Important issues in the property settlement might be getting overlooked. Agreements on child support or spousal support might be less than what a spouse or parent deserves. And, even in the simplest of divorce cases, a lawyer can still provide efficient services in filing documents and responding to motions, allowing their client to focus on the next era of their life.
Who gets the house in a divorce?A:
The house will be subject to California’s community property laws, which require a 50/50 split of all marital property between the spouses. Whether the family home ends up with a spouse or being sold will depend on how the settlement is negotiated between the two parties. There is no uniform rule on how any particular piece of marital property should be distributed.
How is child custody decided?A:
Child custody decisions are made exclusively on the basis of what the courts deem is the best interests of the child. This will depend on a range of factors which will be unique to each couple, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer. But as an example, if it’s already been agreed that one spouse will get the family home, a court might deem it in the child’s best interest to live with that parent, simply for the stability of staying in the same house.