Spousal Support

Knowledgeable Divorce Lawyer Serving the San Jose Area

When a marriage comes to an end, it can often result in major life changes for each spouse involved. For some spouses, this means finding an entirely different financial support system, but it can take several months or even years for a spouse who may have stayed home or pursued other endeavors to earn enough money to be financially self-sufficient. California divorce laws have created a system to determine whether one spouse should provide compensation to the other spouse following the divorce. San Jose spousal support lawyer Elainie Honjas has substantial experience assisting clients with navigating these sensitive matters, and she is prepared to assist you.

Calculating Spousal Support in California

Under California law, there must be an official court proceeding in order for a spousal support order to be issued. In certain situations, you can seek spousal support payments during the pendency of a divorce proceeding. This is particularly helpful for parties who are already separated or living apart when the divorce proceeding is pending. This is known as a temporary spousal support order. The court can also make a final order of spousal support as part of the final court order dissolving the marriage.

The court must consider a number of factors in determining whether a party is entitled to spousal support, as well as setting the amount of the payments and the duration of the payments. First, the court will take into account the length of the marriage and the needs of each spouse in terms of the standard of living that they were accustomed to enjoying during the marriage. The longer the marriage, the more the court may be convinced that a party with lower financial means is entitled to support from the other spouse because the receiving spouse would have been dependent on the supporting spouse for a long period of time. However, each situation is different, and a spousal support attorney in San Jose can advise you on how a court likely would view your case.

Next, the court will assess the means of each spouse to support himself or herself when it comes to maintaining his or her standard of living. For example, the court will take into account whether obtaining a job would interfere with a spouse’s childcare responsibilities and whether one party supported the other party in pursuing an educational degree or career goal. In the same vein, the court will examine whether one spouse’s career was affected by childcare responsibilities or unemployment. Using these factors, the court will determine whether each spouse has marketable job skills, whether there is a viable market for those job skills, and how much time and expense each spouse must invest in becoming financially independent. The court can also consider whether either party engaged in domestic abuse in the marriage, as well as the relative health and age of each party and the tax implications of a spousal support order. A San Jose spousal support attorney can help you bring any evidence that may be relevant to these issues to the court’s attention.

If the court determines that one spouse is entitled to spousal support, it may require the other spouse to make payments for a reasonable period of time until the receiving spouse is able to reach a certain point of financial stability. California law includes an exception for marriages lasting 10 years or more, stating that the court cannot put an end date on the support payments. Unless otherwise stated in the court order, the payments generally will end only if one spouse dies or if the spouse receiving the payments remarries.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a San Jose Attorney

The California spousal support rules can seem complicated, especially if you are dealing with the stress and emotional turmoil that often come with a divorce. Attorney Elainie Honjas provides dependable and responsive legal advice regarding family law matters to individuals and families in cities such as San Jose, Santa Clara, Redwood City, San Mateo, Fremont, and Hayward. To schedule a free consultation to explore your legal situation with a spousal support lawyer in the San Jose area, contact us at 408-292-4849 or contact us online to get started.