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Alimony can be one of the most contentious parts of any divorce. People in California should understand that spousal support is not doled out randomly. There are several factors the court will take into account in determining whether one partner should receive support and how much it should be. These include the lifestyle the person is used to and their ability to support themselves.

Alimony in California

The way alimony is determined in California is outlined in the state’s family law code. A number of issues are taken under consideration when the court is determining whether to award spousal support and how much. One factor is whether the spouse to be supported has been unemployed due to family needs. If they have a gap in their resume because they were raising children, caring for elders or helping to support their partner’s career, the court will take that into account.

Other issues the court will consider include any history of domestic violence. This can refer to claims that worked in both directions. Whether the supported partner or supporting partner was the aggressor, domestic violence and its aftermath can change the way the court approaches an alimony award.

The court also considers basic information about who can support themselves in the relationship. What job skills does each partner have? What work history? Finally, the judge will consider the tax consequences of alimony awards for both parties in the relationship.

Professional guidance during a divorce

Clearly, alimony in California is complicated. It’s important to communicate with your attorney throughout this process. They will need to know some very personal details about your life and relationship history. Having that information may make it easier to get the award you’re entitled to.