California couples seeking a divorce might have a lot of questions about alimony, also known as spousal support. Alimony exists as a way to help one spouse recover financially after a divorce, especially if they were making less money than their former spouse.
When is alimony granted?
It’s possible to ask for spousal support when seeking a divorce. However, it’s ultimately up to the judge to decide whether alimony is appropriate as well as how much those payments would be.
Alimony is determined by closely examining the assets of both spouses as well as each person’s ability to earn money after the divorce. The court will also look at the length of the marriage, the ability of the spouse to gain employment and the standard of living that both persons are accustomed to.
The spouse seeking alimony payments may be unemployed if they worked as a homemaker. The alimony acts as a sort of cushioning while they’re looking for a job, seeking alternative living arrangements and learning how to fend for themselves after being married.
The judge may decide that alimony should be awarded but only for a certain amount of time. This sets a deadline of sorts for the spouse receiving alimony payments to find their financial footing.
Can alimony be changed?
Alimony can be changed depending on the financial status of both persons and any changes that come up. For example, the paying former partner might ask to reduce alimony payments after losing their job, or the receiving person might ask to increase them in light of a health issue.
In order to ask for or change alimony payments, the spouse seeking alimony should bring documents to support their request. These can be bill statements as well as examples of how they were a good spouse. Once the court makes a decision, both former spouses are responsible for upholding the terms.