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Experienced Attorneys Offering Guidance On Child And Spousal Support

Last updated on July 17, 2024

After custody of the children has been decided by the parties or the court in a proceeding for divorce or parentage, child support in California is determined through a complex calculation that, among other factors, takes into consideration:

  •  income and earning potential of each parent
  •  custodial timeshare
  •  special circumstances and hardships borne by the parents and children
  •  tax deductions and adjustments
  •  childcare expenses

Our family law group works to ensure child support obligations are fair and in the children’s best interests. We develop a full picture of each parent’s financial means and expenses for the court, and we are sensitive to our clients’ current and future financial positions.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

As part of a divorce proceeding, either spouse may request spousal support (alimony). California Family Code sections provide a complex, and often confusing, list of factors a court will consider in awarding spousal support to one party. Included in that list of factors are such things as the parties’ earning potential and income, their age and health, the length of the marriage, expenses, tax consequences, and other economic variables. In addition, the court will look at the standard of living the parties enjoyed during their marriage or registered domestic partnership up to the date of separation.

We work with clients both seeking, and hoping to reduce spousal support rights. If the parties are able to confer and reach an agreement outside of litigation, they may present their agreement to the court, and the court will honor their arrangement. However, in the event of a dispute, we work with our clients to ensure they are fully informed of support rights and obligations and navigate the intricacies of the family law statutes together. We work to negotiate reasonable and equitable spousal support settlements, and in the event of necessary court intervention, we will advocate for our client’s best interest in seeking an appropriate award.

Temporary Vs. Long-Term Spousal Support

Spousal support, also called alimony, ensures financial stability for a spouse who may be economically disadvantaged post-divorce. Within this framework, two primary forms of spousal support exist:

  • Temporary spousal support: This is intended to maintain the status quo and ensure both spouses can sustain themselves until a final divorce settlement is reached. Courts calculate temporary support using standardized formulas based on factors such as income, expenses and living standards during the marriage.
  • Long-term spousal support: This support extends beyond the duration of the divorce process and is determined as part of the final divorce settlement. Unlike temporary support, long-term support considers various factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity and their respective financial situations post-divorce.

The key difference between these two forms is in their duration and purpose.

Lump Sum Alimony Vs. Monthly Alimony Payments

In spousal support arrangements, you can choose between lump sum and monthly alimony payments, as each has its own advantages and considerations.

  • Lump sum alimony: It is a one-time, upfront payment of spousal support negotiated as part of the divorce settlement. This payment provides the recipient with immediate financial security and eliminates the need for ongoing support payments.
  • Monthly alimony payments: These are regular, periodic payments made by one spouse to the other after a divorce. These payments are structured to provide ongoing financial support, mirroring the marital standard of living and accounting for changes in income or financial circumstances over time.

Consult a legal team to help you navigate these options and find the most suitable arrangement for your circumstances.

Call Us Today

For over a decade, Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP has served the Bay Area. We have the experience to address any issue related to child or spousal support. Call 415-527-0788 today or fill out this online form to book an appointment.