Escondido Spousal Support Attorney
Representing Paying & Receiving Spouses in San Diego County
Spousal support, sometimes referred to as “alimony,” is sometimes awarded to one spouse in divorce proceedings. This can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce, particularly if one spouse believes they are being ordered to pay an unreasonable amount or if one spouse believes they should receive more.
At Heidi D. Collier, APLC, we understand the complex laws involving spousal support in California—as well as the many emotions that often come into play. With over 23 years of legal experience, our Escondido spousal support attorney and Board Certified Family Law Specialist with the California Board of Legal Specialization, Heidi Collier, can help you navigate this complex process.
Reach out to Heidi D. Collier, APLC today to request your initial consultation with Ms. Collier: (760) 993-3770.
How Spousal Support Is Determined in California
Spousal support is not automatically awarded in any divorce case. Instead, the court will look at a variety of factors when determining if and to whom to award spousal support. In some cases, a spousal support arrangement can be agreed upon during mediation.
When determining spousal support, the court will look at the following factors:
- The income of each spouse
- The ability of each spouse to pay
- Each spouse’s individual earning capacity
- Each spouse’s marketable skills
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- Whether or not either spouse supported the other in obtaining an education, career, etc.
- Various outside obligations (child support, housing costs, etc.)
- Whether or not there is a history of domestic violence
- Each spouse’s age, health, and mental wellness
- The financial/domestic contribution of each spouse to the marriage
Note that this list is by no means exhaustive; many other additional factors may come into play when the court is deciding on whether to award spousal support. Similarly, these and other factors will play a role in the amount and duration of spousal support the court order you or your spouse to pay.
How Does a Spouse Qualify for Alimony?
In California, spousal support is not automatically awarded. In a divorce case, alimony is generally awarded by a judge to the lower-earning spouse to ensure their standard of living remains similar to what it was during the marriage. Spousal support may only be temporary while the lower-earning spouse makes efforts to increase their income, or it may be permanent if decided by the judge. Many factors go into the determination of spousal support, so it is in your best interests to hire a spousal support attorney in Escondido to represent you.
How Long Is Alimony Paid in California?
In California, spousal support can be temporary or permanent. For extremely short-term marriages (less than 5 years), a judge may only order temporary spousal support. For marriages shorter than 10 years, spousal support generally lasts for half the length of the marriage or less. For long-term marriages that lasted 10 years or longer, permanent alimony may be awarded. The term "permanent" does not necessarily mean forever; rather, the judge will determine a length of time during which alimony will be paid, which varies depending on the case.
Working to Protect Your Rights & Best Interests
At Heidi D. Collier, APLC, we understand that spousal support is nearly always a complicated issue. Our goal is to protect your rights and best interests, whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving party. We can help you clearly understand your legal options and work toward a resolution that meets your unique needs. If needed, we can also assist you in seeking modifications to a spousal support order.
Contact us online or call (760) 993-3770 to discuss your situation with a caring and knowledgeable spousal support lawyer in Escondido. We serve all of San Diego County, including Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, Poway, Carmel Valley, La Jolla, Santaluz, and beyond.