An optional award that may be made in the event of dissolution or separation is the award of spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony. California courts have a broad array of circumstantial inferences to make when looking at making an award. Under California Family Code § 4320, there are particular codified factors that a judge can use in making such an award. Our office is committed to pointing out such necessity.
One over-arching principle is the respective needs of each party and their ability to pay. When one party has been the sole "bread-winner" in the marriage and the other has grown dependent on their support, the circumstances may arise that contribute to a spousal award. These facts and circumstances need to be articulated to the judge making the determination and with the help of an experienced attorney with such awards, our office can ensure that the decision made is not an arbitrary one.
There are two types of awards: temporary and permanent support. As each case is unique, each determination of whether to award temporary or permanent support is different. One main indicator is the standard of living achieved during the marriage and prior to the separation. If during the marriage, lavish family homes, luxury cars, frequent vacations, and other luxuries are present, the standard of living is high and must be carefully considered. A judge will look to this standard of living as a guide and then determine whether it is sustainable given the need and earning capacity of the parties.
It is highly important to set up an initial consultation as timing is of the essence in these matters. A significant fact-finding process must take place in order to apply such points to the factors the court is bound to.
Contact our office today for an initial consultation.