Southern California Family Attorney
Back to Top
Spousal Support Providing Knowledgeable Guidance and Skilled Representation

Alimony FAQ

Answers from Our Divorce Lawyers in Oceanside

If you are filing for divorce, you might be wondering whether you will receive or have to pay alimony. Spousal support can be a contentious topic and often causes emotional distress and uncertainties. TO help you navigate this tough situation, we have created our alimony FAQ. Read on to learn more about spousal support.

If you still have questions, reach out to Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at (760) 621-7101.

What is alimony?

Alimony, otherwise known as spousal support, is a monetary payment that one former spouse must make to the other one. Typically, alimony is awarded in cases where one spouse is reliant on the other for financial support. Alimony allows this individual to maintain his or her standard of living and reduces the financial stress he or she would feel otherwise. Alimony may be temporary or permanent, depending on the situation.

Under what legal circumstances is spousal support not given during a divorce?

Question: Under what circumstances would spousal support not be awarded in a divorce?

Answer: Pursuant to Family Code § 4300, an individual owes a duty to support his or her spouse. In a judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation of the parties, the court may order a party to pay for the support of the other party an amount, for a period of time, that the court determines is just and reasonable based on the standard of living established during the marriage (Family Code § 4330).

A premarital (or other) agreement cannot validly waive the mutual duty of support owed between spouses while they are married and living together. However, when entered into voluntarily by parties who are each represented by independent counsel and aware of the effect of the agreement, a premarital waiver of post-dissolution spousal support does not offend contemporary public policy and is not per se unenforceable. (Family Code § 1612(c)). If the spouses separate by agreement, neither owes the other a duty of support unless they otherwise agree (Family Code § 4302); and any right to support after dissolution exists, if at all, only under the terms of the judgment. Thus, a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver of support in a marital settlement or premarital agreement will be enforced according to its terms.

In determining spousal support, the court will consider various factors. It is important to contact an experienced family law attorney who can provide insight into consideration broader than statutory regulations and factors.

Will I have to pay spousal support because my ex quit his job?

There are many factors a court evaluates when determining whether a spousal support order should be issued.

Family Code section 4320 explains all of the factors, which include:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Income of the parties
  • Standard of living established during the marriage

If your ex quit his job, you can ask the court to “impute” income. A court imputes income when one party is unemployed or underemployed. If you want the court to impute the other party’s income to more than just minimum wage, a vocational examination will be ordered. The examination will look at factors such as the party’s age, marketable skills, employment history, and current availability of employment opportunities.

Can I get emergency spousal support in California?

When you file for divorce you can request child and spousal support. In determining spousal support, the court will consider various factors such as length of the marriage, income of the parties, and standard of living established during the marriage. You may also file an ex parte motion to go to court immediately to try and get temporary support orders. However, some courts may not grant support on an emergency basis.

It is important to contact an experienced family law attorney that can provide insight into your individual options.

If you would like to learn more about alimony, contact the Oceanside divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel today at (760) 621-7101.

Why Choose

Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP
  • Over 15 Years of Experience
  • Available 24/7 By Appointment
  • Complimentary 30 Minute Consultations
  • Committed to Protecting Your Rights
  • Serving Your Children’s Best Interests