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Los Angeles Spousal Support Attorney

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Spousal Support Issues in Divorce

Fear and uncertainty set in when the divorce process starts, especially when it comes to maintaining one’s finances. Charles M. Green, a Certified Specialist in Family Law with an extensive financial background in accountancy assists clients in the analysis and review that goes into the proper calculation of Spousal Support. Mr. Green will not hesitate to bring to trial issues necessary in determining temporary and permanent spousal support if the goals of our clients are not meet in a voluntary settlement process first.

Temporary Spousal Support

Similar to child support, temporary spousal support is based on a statutory formula. Its purpose is to maintain the financial status quo during the period of time between the initial separation of the parties and the final division of property. Each party’s income, health care and child care costs are considered to determine the amount of the temporary spousal support.

Permanent Spousal Support

Permanent spousal support does not follow a detailed financial formula. The final amount is based on various factors such as the ability of the spouse to pay spousal support, the age and health of the recipient of support, and any special needs that have been identified. Spouses who put their career on hold to raise children may be entitled to compensation depending on the amount of time they were out of the workforce.

Mediating or Litigating Spousal Support Matters

Our focus is on obtaining fair and equitable results if not by Voluntary Settlement than by aggressive and experienced litigation. Only after competent analysis of the parties tax returns and financial statements can you recognize the financial position of a divorcing spouse. Temporary spousal support bridges the gap and reduces the anxiety of an already stressful situation. Permanent support can provide an opportunity for a spouse to return to school towards resuming their career or starting a new one.

Typically, disputes over temporary spousal support result from the amounts entered into the statutory formula. Because no strict financial formula exists for permanent spousal support and because the duration of the support is not predetermined, permanent spousal support disputes often arise between a divorcing couple. Attorney Charles M. Green, attempts to resolve these issues through informed negotiation providing clients with some control over the process. However, when necessary he will litigate if that becomes the best or only option to protect his client’s interests.

Some Factors in Determining Spousal Support :

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of the spouses
  • The income of both spouses
  • The education, training and work history of each spouse
  • Whether one spouse gave up a career to raise children

California Spousal Support FAQs


What is Alimony?

Alimony, which is also referred to as “spousal support” in California, is payment from one spouse (“payor spouse”) to another (“supported spouse” or “payee spouse”) after they separate with plans to divorce. A written agreement or order that requires the payor spouse to make payments to support the other spouse should be filed with the court before any payments are made, so there can be no dispute that the money changing hands is alimony.

In California, spouses can request temporary alimony, permanent alimony, or both.

 

Can I Get Temporary Spousal Support While My Case is Pending?

Spousal support in Los Angeles is often awarded at an Order to Show Cause on a temporary basis, where one spouse is unemployed or earning significantly less than the other spouse. The Superior Courts of Orange and Los Angeles Counties have adopted a spousal support guideline for use in setting temporary spousal support. This guideline requires that the husband’s spousal support is 40% of his net monthly income, reduced by one-half of the wife’s net monthly income.

Where child support is being paid, the guideline level of child support is first calculated. Then, spousal support is determined.

 

If I am not working right now, at the initial Order to Show Cause hearing, will I be required to find a job immediately?

At the Order to Show Cause hearing, the judge is not concerned about the employability of the wife. Instead, at this stage, the judge merely wants to preserve the status quo and provide the wife with sufficient income for her basic needs, consistent with the parties’ lifestyle.

 

How does a family law judge determine spousal support / alimony at the time of the trial?

At the trial of the dissolution, the California Family Code provides the judge with a long list of factors that are to be considered in determining the amount and duration of spousal support.

This list includes such factors as the length of the marriage, the parties’ prior living standard, the extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the:

  • Attainment of an education or professional license by the other spouse;
  • Presence of young children in the home; and
  • Employment opportunities available to the spouse requesting support.

 

How Long Will My Spousal Support Last?

In general, where the marriage has lasted more than 10 years, the court will, at the very least reserve jurisdiction. This means that, even if there is no current order for spousal support, the spouse will be permitted to come back to court at a later date to request spousal support should the need arise.

 

Is The Spousal Support I Am Paying Tax Deductible?

The Internal Revenue Code provides that all spousal support payments are tax deductible by the paying spouse and taxable to the recipient spouse as ordinary income. For this reason, it is not uncommon for a negotiated settlement to include the payment of a high amount of spousal support, because such a payment results in a tax benefit to the husband.

Contact spousal support attorney Charles M. Green today for a consultation.

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Charles M. Green is Certified as a Family Law Specialist through the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California.

A Certified Family Law Specialist must pass an extensive written examination in the variety of subjects that are family law, be approved by a peer review process and show proficiency in Family Law by having represented clients in a sufficient number of Family Law cases with varying degrees of complexity. Continuing education is required to maintain this specialty designation.

Charles Green also has prior experience as a Certified Public Accountant. This combination of legal and financial experience and education makes Charles M. Green uniquely qualified to represent clients in the most complex of financial issues that are found in...

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  • “Everyone in the office was very friendly. They helped me get through a difficult period in my life easily, and without a ton of financial strain. I can honestly say I would recommend Mr. Green to anyone in need of a divorce attorney.”

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