San Jose Spousal Support Attorney
Supporting A Spouse In California
Transitioning to an independent life after divorce can be difficult. The financial transition can be especially difficult if a spouse has given up or put a career on hold while raising children or supporting the other spouse through a career change.
Getting back into the workforce can mean more than looking through job listings. A spouse who has been outside the workforce may have lost valuable connections and skills and is likely not up to speed on current trends in their field.
A knowledgeable San Jose spousal support attorney can help you understand the different types of spousal support in California and the purposes they serve. Foster Hsu, LLP, can help you understand the circumstances under which courts award temporary and long-term spousal support and how support is calculated.
Make an appointment at our San Jose office by calling 408-841-7200.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last?
The policy of the state of California is for both spouses to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. There are two types of spousal support: temporary support and long-term support. Temporary support is the support provided during the pendency of the divorce. Long-term support is the support provided after the divorce is finalized. The duration of the support is highly specific to your individual situation.
How do California Family Court Judges Decide How Much Alimony to Award?
In the case of temporary support, most judges adhere to a formula, but when it comes to long-term support, courts instead weigh a series of factors to decide whether any spousal support is warranted and if so, how much and for how long. These factors include but are not limited to the following:
- The length of the marriage
- The age, health and financial status of the parties
- The standard of living established in the marriage
- Each party’s earning capacity
- Assets and debts of each party
- If a spouse missed career opportunities to stay home and care for the children or run the household
- If a spouse helped to further the other’s ability to gain an education, professional license or further their career
- Any abusive behavior that occurred during the marriage
- The tax consequences of a spousal support award
- Any other factors the Court might deem relevant
The judge obtains information from the parties through their financial disclosures, testimony and other evidence introduced in hearings or at trial. Our San Jose spousal support lawyers can help you build and present a persuasive case based on these factors when you are seeking or opposing spousal support in your divorce.
Can Spousal Support be Modified?
Often times, yes. Spousal support can usually be modified by going back to Court and proving some significant change in circumstances has occurred that justifies modifying or terminating a spousal support award. For instance, if the paying party loses a job or suffers a substantial pay cut, or the receiving party obtains a significant rise in income, the judge may modify support accordingly. Another common reason to reduce or end support comes when the party receiving support remarries or starts cohabiting with a romantic partner.
Even if the parties agree with each other on a modification, they should still formalize the modification in a new Court order. Otherwise, a party could technically be found non-compliant with a Court order, even if the parties agreed to the change. If one party objects to the change, then it might be necessary to litigate the matter in a contested hearing and prove the need for a modification to the judge’s satisfaction.
Can a Prenuptial Agreement Affect Spousal Support?
Yes. One of the most common reasons for individuals to enter into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is to waive or limit potential obligations for spousal support. For example, a prenup specifies how much spousal support will be paid and by whom it will be paid in the event of a divorce. It might set out different amounts and duration of payments depending on the length of the marriage, or the agreement might waive the payment of spousal support altogether. Individuals are free to contract for spousal support however they want, so long as the decision is not unreasonably unfair to a party and is based on adequate disclosure of financial assets at the time of the agreement.
Our San Jose Spousal Support Attorneys Are Here to Guide You
It is important to talk with a San Jose spousal support attorney as you go through a divorce. Foster Hsu, LLP, can help you understand what to expect and the best steps for your situation. Contact us online or call 408-841-7200 to discuss your options.