What You Must Know About Spousal Support in 2014 for Your Family Law Case Involving Either Legal Separation or Divorce in San Diego

What Is Spousal Support In A Divorce Or Legal Separation?

Spousal support, or alimony, is only available in a legal separation or a divorce and not a paternity case. Spousal support is awarded to the spouse who has the need and the spouse who has the ability is ordered to pay. Spousal support is ordered by a San Diego Superior Court Judge [or agreed to by the spouses] to pay a spouse either while the divorce is pending and on going or when a divorce is final.

How Is Spousal Support Determined As A Pre Judgment [Temporary] Order?

The Judges, in San Diego County, have the discretion for pre judgment spousal support to use the disso master [computer program which calculates spousal and child support] or to use a need and ability argument which is the core of the permanent spousal support order discussed below. There are many factors which are considered for spousal support and a list is below however there are other factors which are considered for both parties as per the disso master program:

  • mandatory retirement
  • mandatory union dues
  • property tax expenses
  • deductible interest expenses
  • health insurance
  • child support paid from other relationship or marriage
  • spousal support paid from other marriage
  • all taxable income
  • all non taxable income
  • number of federal exemptions
How Is Spousal Support Determined As A Post Judgment [Permanent Order]?

The Judges, in San Diego County, are not allowed to use the disso master program to calculate permanent spousal support by California law and must use the Family Law Code 4320 factors. As with the temporary spousal support, there are a number of factors and a list is provided below for your review:

  • criminal conviction of a supported spouse [payee] shall be considered in a reduction of elimination of spousal support
  • balance of hardships to each party
  • specific and immediate tax consequences to each party {spousal support is deductible by the payor and included in income of the payee}
  • any documented evidence of domestic violence against spouse or spouse’s child
  • health and age of the spouses
  • if there are minor children, the ability of the spouse who is being supported to obtain and engage in employment without interfering unduly with the interests of the minor children who are in the custody of the payee
  • how long the marriage lasted
  • the assets and debts of each spouse including community and separate property
  • the ability of the supporting spouse [payor] can pay spousal support including the marital standard of living including the earning capacity and other factors
  • the extent, if any, which the supported spouse contributed to the training, education career position or license of the supporting spouse
  • the extent, if any, which the supported spouse’s present or future earning capacity was impaired by any periods of unemployment to permit the supported party to devote time for duties which are domestic
  • marketable skills of the supported party including the job market and education of the supported spouse
  • whether the earning ability of both spouses is sufficient to maintain the marital standard of living
How Long Will Spousal Support Last?

Spousal support will terminate under several conditions. First, death of either the payor or payee will terminate spousal support. Second, the remarriage of the payee will also terminate spousal support. Third, if the financial circumstances change, then a motion for modification can be filed. If the marriage is more than 10 years, then there is indefinite jurisdiction over the duration [length] of the spousal support and a termination date is not set at the date of judgment. If the marriage is, however, less than 10 years, then there is a presumption that the supported spouse [payee] should be self supporting within one half the duration of the marriage as the outer limit for duration. Cohabitation with a person of the opposite sex in a romantic relationship will raise a presumption [shift of burden of proof] for decreased need.

How Can A Local San Diego Law Firm Help?

The law firm of Doppelt & Forney, APLC has the disso master program and can analyze your spousal support [as well as all other family law] issues. The firm offers a complimentary consultation up to 30 minutes which includes a guideline spousal support [and child support] preliminary analysis. If you are seeking experienced legal representation in San Diego Courts for your family law case, please feel free to contact Doppelt & Forney, APLC and schedule your consultation today.

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