Some states call it alimony. Here in California, it is referred to as spousal support. The two terms are synonymous and essentially represent payments made to a former spouse. They can also include money payable during the pendency of a divorce. A Huntington Beach man is leading a crusade against permanent spousal support. He hopes to get enough signatures for his proposal to ensure that spousal support reform is headed to the ballot.
Contentions against Spousal Support
According to this recent news story, the Huntington Beach activist was recently divorced and admits frustration with his own circumstances. He was required to pay his ex-wife lifetime
support unless she remarries. The divorced man calls the concept antiquated and even refers to it as “divorce insurance for the lower-income earner”. Essentially, the plan calls for an abolishment of spousal support.
Of course, this man’s concerns about the inequities of spousal support are not necessarily unique. Resentment is not unusual among those who are required to pay it. Why does the court award spousal support in some cases, and not others?
Determinations Regarding Spousal Support
It is important for anyone considering divorce or dissolution to seek experienced legal counsel. In instances where long-term spousal support may be an issue, it is extremely crucial. Several factors are considered when dealing with the issue. They are mandated by California code and are synopsized here:
- The extent of the person with the lower income’s marketable skills
- Whether the job market has positions available that would allow the party to find work using those skills
- Time and expense necessary to acquire education or training for marketable skills
- Whether the party’s income was impaired because they stayed home to take care of the home
- The degree of contribution made to the supporting party’s education or career
- Review of supporting party’s ability to share income, with an overall consideration of all earnings and standard of living
- Length of the marriage (ten years is not necessarily the “magic number”)
- Needs, obligations and assets of the parties
- Availability for the supported party to work and continue to care for dependent children
- Age and health of both individuals
- Potential tax consequences
- Any domestic violence history
- Present and projected earnings of the parties
- Length of time it will take supported party to become self-sufficient
Whether you are facing spousal support payments or are a candidate for permanent spousal support, you need legal advice. Our office has experience in these types of matters, as well as modification to existing spousal support orders. Contact Attorney Gurjit Srai to set up a free consultation regarding your case.