Campbell Spousal Support Lawyer
Help With Spousal Support in Divorce in Campbell and Santa Clara County
Money troubles are a leading cause of divorce, but concerns over finances can also keep spouses together when they would be better off apart. A spouse who sacrificed a career to raise a family might now be worried about earning a sufficient and sustainable income as a single person, while primary wage earners might dread the thought of going broke paying to support former spouses in the way in which they have become accustomed.
These concerns may be valid, but they are in no way insurmountable. Spousal support in a divorce can be arranged in a way that helps recipient spouses only as long as is needed and is fair while ensuring that paying spouses are treated fairly as well and not asked to pay something beyond their abilities. Our Campbell spousal support lawyers at Hepner & Pagan, LLP can guide you to a fair resolution of spousal support issues in your Santa Clara County divorce. We offer many tiers of legal support, including mediation, legal coaching, and full representation to meet you where you are and give you the best advice and assistance to meet your needs.
How Is Spousal Support Determined?
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is where one former spouse pays a lump sum or monthly amount to help the other former spouse become self-supporting. Spousal support is not a routine part of every California divorce. Instead, the party seeking support either has to work it out with the other party or file a motion in court for an enforceable court order requiring spousal support. In court, the requesting party has to prove the need to receive support and the other party’s ability to pay. That other party might challenge or contest support so that the judge might need to hold a hearing on the matter.
Spousal support might also be predetermined in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. In these agreements, the parties decide beforehand whether or not spousal support will be included in a future divorce. The prenup might discuss when support would and would not be provided depending on different triggering events, as well as how much and for how long payments would be made.
Even without a prenup, the parties can still come together before or during a divorce and work out the issue of spousal support between themselves. The Campbell divorce lawyers at Hepner & Pagan, LLP offer legal coaching as well as advocacy in mediation or full representation to help you and your divorcing spouse come up with a solution that is fair and meets your needs.
Spousal support can be awarded temporarily while the divorce is pending, or it can come in a final court order after divorce for a long term until it is no longer needed. When issuing temporary support orders, California courts generally follow a formula to come up with an appropriate amount based on the couple’s income and expenses. For a long-term order of support, judges look at several factors to help them decide whether to order support, how much and for how long. These factors include:
- How long did the marriage last?
- What kind of physical, mental and financial shape are the parties in?
- What kind of standard of living was established during the marriage?
- How much does each party earn or are they capable of earning?
- What are the assets and debts carried by each party?
- Did one of the spouses give up on a career to stay home with the kids or run the household?
- Did one of the spouses help the other spouse to get an education or advance their career?
- Was there any abusive conduct in the marriage?
- How would spousal support affect the taxes of each party?
If your divorce is headed for court, we can help you put together the evidence and legal arguments related to the above factors to assist the judge in making a fair decision regarding spousal support. Looking at these factors can also help the parties work together outside of court to come up with an amount of support that meets the receiving party’s needs and is fair to the paying party as well.
Can Spousal Support Orders Get Changed?
In granting a divorce, the parties might agree, or the court might order, spousal support to continue for years. There may be reasons to modify an existing order, though, or terminate it early, if circumstances change substantially. Some common reasons for modifying support include:
- Job loss or decrease in income
- Increase in income
- Recipient remarries or moves in with a new partner
If spousal support is being paid according to an agreement, that agreement would need to be modified or terminated. This can be through a Stipulated agreement between the parties, or a court order. Our divorce lawyers can advise and assist you in either process, including reviewing or completing any modifications or court motions and proposed orders, or representing you in court if either you or the other party is contesting the proposed modification.
Call Our Campbell Family Law Attorneys for Help With Spousal Support in Your Santa Clara County Divorce
For help with spousal support and other issues in your Campbell divorce, call Hepner & Pagan, LLP at 408-429-8336. We serve clients throughout Santa Clara County and provide the right level of support to meet your needs and help you reach your goals efficiently and cost-effectively.