Too many people make some assumptions about the divorce process that are ultimately proven to be false. By that point, unfortunately, there may be nothing you can do to correct the mistaken belief or adjust your situation to put yourself in a more appropriate position.
This can be the case when it comes to requests for spousal support. If you are getting divorced, you might assume that you will certainly be awarded spousal support (alimony is the term used on tax returns), or you might think that because you are not millionaires, you will not have to be responsible for paying alimony. However, the fact is in California, spousal support is neither guaranteed nor is it reserved only for affluent couples.
You should know that several factors will be considered by the courts when reviewing a request for spousal support. Below are a few that can be especially important when it comes to determining whether or not to award alimony.
- How long you were married: If you have been married for quite some time, alimony may be more likely than if you were married for a short period of time.
- How much you and your spouse each earn: Spousal support is supposed to help people make the transition out of marriage by leveling the financial playing field. If one person will be at a considerable disadvantage financially after a divorce because he or she doesn’t earn an income, alimony may be ordered.
- Whether one person was the victim of abuse: Domestic violence victims can experience severe trauma as a result of the abuse. Therefore, a judge may order the abusive party to financially support the victim with alimony payments.
These are just a few factors that will be assessed by the judge, but as you might notice, they could all relate to any type of couple. Post-marital support is not something that is only available to wealthy couples, but it is not automatically going to be issued in every case.
Because of this, it can be important that you and your attorney present your case for or against spousal support with these considerations in mind. Failure to do so could have some costly ramifications.