Spousal SupportFew topics in divorce are as emotionally charged as spousal support. Many couples that agree about child support find it extremely difficult to discuss, let alone negotiate, terms for spousal support payments.
From an emotional perspective, this is understandable; it’s not hard to imagine that it is painful to write a monthly alimony check to your former spouse. Likewise, it’s natural to feel that any check you receive from your former spouse isn’t large enough.
When dealing with spousal support issues, begin by recognizing that many often-repeated theories are largely myths. Contrary to what many believe, the higher earning spouse is not universally required to pay support. Nor are you forever stuck with a spousal support order. Spousal support, like child support, can be modified both upward and downward.
For example, if the person who receives spousal support cohabitates with someone with whom they are having a sexual or romantic relationship, the law in California presumes that a reduction in the amount of spousal support may be warranted. This is just one example why it’s important to be able to separate spousal support myths from facts.
Having attorneys who are very knowledgeable about spousal support is most important because:
- In many family law cases, spousal support continues well after the conclusion of the divorce;
- Even if a party is paying or receiving child support, spousal support may be ordered in addition to those payments;
- Family law judges compare many factors, specific to each married couple and each case, which will affect spousal support
We have represented clients on both sides of a Spousal Support Order:
- Stopping unreasonable alimony agreements. Our client, the Wife, was years younger than her retired husband, but still paid spousal support. Shortly after the divorce she lost her job, and would have faced an indefinite amount of alimony payments. Our office successfully negotiated a lump sum payment between our client and the ex-husband, meaning a one-time payment and no future spousal support owed.
- Terminating spousal support. After a divorce, our client had paid a significantly high spousal support order that was obtained prior to our representation. This spousal support was especially unfair, considering our client’s ex-wife was earning a moderate income, and the two had been married fewer than three years. After we were retrained, his spousal support order was ultimately terminated.
- Negotiating a lump-sum alimony payment. Our client previously paid substantial spousal support to his ex-wife. After our office-conducted discovery, we were able to show that the supported ex-spouse had squandered assets that could have produced an income. As a result, we negotiated a favorable lump sum payment to terminate all future alimony.
Since 1994, we have helped men and women obtain and modify the amount of spousal support that the pay and/or receive.
If you are interested in altering your spousal support agreement, please contact us at 310.288.1990.