Financial support is often seen as one of the benefits of marriage. When a couple divorces, it can be difficult for both individuals to land on their feet financially, especially if one spouse earned the majority of the income. In these situations, a couple may need to negotiate spousal support, or alimony, to help both individuals move forward after a divorce.
Spousal support agreements vary widely based on the people involved. Because of this, it is important to understand the basics of these agreements so that you can advocate for your needs during negotiations. The most effective way to ensure your spousal support agreement is fair is to hire a divorce lawyer that has experience with spousal support agreements.
Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP is an established family law firm in the Newport Beach area, and our highly trained spousal support attorneys are here to help.
At Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, we pride ourselves on having over 100 years of combined experience in family law. During our time in this industry, we have represented clients from a variety of circumstances and backgrounds. This wide range of experience makes us a great match for any family law issue you face.
Our team has seen how impactful spousal support can be for both individuals and families. Because of this, we work hard to ensure that every spousal support agreement our clients face is fair and considers the entire family’s needs. We will diligently advocate for your rights and ensure you have the tools you need to create a favorable spousal support agreement.
You can trust us with the parts of your life that matter most. When it comes to spousal support representation in Newport Beach, our team at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, has the experience necessary to achieve your desired outcome.
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a monthly payment that one ex-spouse pays to another ex-spouse. The terms of these payments are usually outlined during the divorce process.
Child support aims to ensure that all individuals can move forward after a divorce with a similar standard of living. In scenarios where one spouse makes the majority of the money, it is difficult for the other spouse to adjust to a lower income after divorce. Spousal support helps bridge the gap and ensures both spouses have the financial support to begin their new lives.
Spousal support may also act as compensation for the time that a spouse sacrificed. For instance, some couples include one spouse working outside the home and earning an income while the other spouse remains in the home to care for the family. The stay-at-home spouse sacrificed their own career to remain at home. Without their spouse’s income after a divorce, they will have to go out and find a job, which may be difficult because of the gap in their resume. Spousal support helps to compensate the spouse who sacrificed their career and gives them support while they decide to go back to school, get vocational retraining, or otherwise reenter the workforce.
The length of a spousal support agreement depends on the circumstances of the individuals involved and the length of the marriage. Generally, if a couple is married for less than ten years, temporary spousal support will last half of the duration of their marriage, if they get spousal support at all. For example, a couple that was married for six years could expect spousal support to last three years following their divorce. Spousal support payments may be indefinite if a couple has been married for over ten years.
The court considers mitigating factors when determining how long spousal support payments should last. If the receiving spouse has medical issues or is unable to find a job, spousal support will last longer.
Negotiating spousal support outside the legal system is never a good idea. In these situations, it is impossible for the law to enforce the agreement. The law cannot enforce any penalty or intervene in any way if you negotiate outside the legal system and the paying party refuses to pay.
Whenever you navigate a family law issue in the court system, it is essential to make sure that your perspective can be heard. The only way to do this properly is with the help of an attorney. We can make sure that the court knows your opinions and circumstances, and we can contextualize any adverse claims that the opposition makes about you. This is key protection that allows your voice to be heard in court.
Spousal support is a significant agreement. If you are the payer, you can stand to lose a significant amount of money. You risk losing critical support for your new single life if you are the receiving spouse. This is not a situation that you should leave up to chance. With so much at risk, you need to hire an attorney that can help drive the case in your favor.
The cost of your spousal support attorney will depend on their training and experience, and every firm handles charges differently. Many spousal support attorneys charge hourly, but not all do.
When you interview attorneys for your spousal support case, discussing finances with each one is important. Ask about retainer fees, hourly rates, and additional costs so that you know what to expect. If you do not ask these questions and find that you cannot afford your attorney halfway through your case, your likelihood of getting the spousal support agreement that you want drops.
Though most spousal supports have a duration assigned to them, there are certain circumstances that can end the agreement prematurely. Terms for early termination of a spousal support agreement are outlined in the agreement itself. They include the following:
This list is just some of the early termination terms that can be included in your spousal support agreement. Your attorney will work with you to ensure you understand all the terms of your spousal agreement. Our goal is to empower our clients to make informed decisions about their finances and futures.
A: The amount of your spousal support payment will depend upon several unique factors. However, the general equation for determining spousal support is 35% to 40% of the paying spouse’s income minus 40% to 50% of the receiving spouse’s income. For example, if the paying spouse makes $1,000,000 yearly and the receiving spouse makes $100,000, their payments would be approximately $360,000 per year or $30,000 per month.
A: California considers a marriage that lasts ten years or longer to be long-term. This often means that alimony payments are indefinite or much longer than for those who were married for less than ten years. Many marriages that last less than ten years do not include alimony at all. Still, there is a significantly higher likelihood of getting spousal support if you have been married for over ten years.
A: There is no limit on the amount of alimony a spouse can collect, regardless of gender. The amount of the alimony depends on both spouses’ incomes and unique situations. Generally, the equation is 35% to 40% of the higher-earning spouse minus 40% to 50% of the lower-earning spouse. A wife’s alimony will depend on her income, her spouse’s income, and the difference between them.
A: If you are receiving alimony or spousal support, you are free to remarry if you wish to. However, you may risk losing your alimony payments if you do. Many spousal support agreements state that the payments will stop when the receiving spouse remarries or moves in with a new partner. Be sure to ask your attorney about the terms of your agreement before you consider remarrying.
A: As a paying spouse, you must report any changes to your income to the court. Reporting changes will allow the court to adjust spousal support payment amounts as needed. Failing to report a change in your income could result in additional penalties while being stuck with alimony payments that are too high.
Our team offers reliable and experienced family legal services in the Newport Beach area. We understand what it takes to achieve a successful outcome. If you are facing a divorce, child custody issue, or spousal support negotiations, our team is ready to help.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with us, please contact Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, today.
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