It is relatively normal for one spouse to outearn the other in a marriage. For any given couple this could be for a number of reasons. One person might be employed in a career that has higher average rates of income, or maybe another has more education than the other. In other cases a spouse might have chosen to leave the working world to stay home and care for children. In these situations, alimony usually comes up.
Alimony is also frequently referred to as spousal support, and is a form of financial support after a divorce. Many people in California believe that alimony is a given that always comes up during divorce. However, not everyone is entitled to alimony. Here are just a few factors that courts will take into account when determining whether alimony is justified and, if so, how much.
- How long the marriage lasted.
- The marital standard of living.
- Current incomes and earning capacities of both parties.
- Financial contributions of either spouse.
There are many other factors that courts might also look into during this process. Take for example a stay-at-home parent who would have to get a job after a divorce if he or she did not receive any form of alimony. Courts might consider how that parent having to work would affect the children, who may already be struggling with their parent's divorce. These types of issues can be important deciding factors.
A spouse might be entitled to both temporary and post-divorce spousal support. The former is paid before the divorce is finalized, while the latter is paid afterwards. However, securing essential support while separated but not yet divorced can be confusing. Some people may not even realize that they could already be receiving alimony. If you are unsure what type of alimony to which you are entitled, consider visiting our website to read more about California family law.