For those heading into divorce proceedings, finances are often a top concern. This is especially true for the lesser-earning spouse, who may have been at least partially dependent on the higher-earning spouse for basic needs. In most states, including California, spousal support (also called alimony) is the main way that people receive financial assistance, so they can rebuild their lives after divorce. There are many different types of spousal support, including some temporary and some long-term. Depending on your unique needs and circumstances, you may be eligible for one or more types of alimony, but only a qualified divorce attorney in Carlsbad can tell you for sure.
Spousal support is the subject of many misconceptions and myths, which may make your own divorce process more difficult. It’s best to know the reality of the situation beforehand, so you can manage your own expectations. Here are some of the most common myths about spousal support in California:
- It is calculated by a computer algorithm
Many people assume that determining spousal support is simply a matter of plugging some numbers into a computer, but it’s usually not that straightforward. There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding upon a number, and in the end, only a judge can determine the appropriate amount of support. Temporary and long-term support are also calculated differently.
- It’s a guaranteed right
Contrary to some beliefs, alimony is not mandatory in all divorce cases, and there are plenty of circumstances that would not warrant spousal support at all. There are over a dozen different things that are considered by a judge, before awarding support, including health status, tax consequences, criminal records, and more. You may not be automatically entitled to alimony, so make sure to consult your attorney before moving forward.
- It’s secured for life, if your marriage lasted 10+ years
Sometimes, in the cases of very long marriages, spousal support of an indefinite time period may be awarded, but this is not the typical rule. In family law, marriages that have lasted more than 10 years are usually considered “long,” but many of the same rules apply, when determining amount and duration of spousal support.
Spousal support in California is a complicated issue, and only a qualified divorce attorney can give you the information that applies to your unique situation. If you want to learn more, reach out to us at McKinnon Law, and ask for your free consultation.