In some cases, if one spouse was financially dependent on the other, the court may require the higher-earning spouse to pay alimony to the other spouse to ease his or her financial burden. Punitive damages are not awarded on this basis.
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Instead, alimony is only required based on the financial needs and abilities of the spouses. Several factors influence alimony determinations, such as whether the spouses decide to cohabitate with new partners. A judge will consider all these factors when determining whether to award alimony payments or how much must be paid. In California, the priority in any divorce involving a child is to determine what would be best for him or her. California believes that every child should be able to maintain a close and healthy relationship with both parents.
Depending on where the divorced couple lives, housing costs may be too much for a lower-earning spouse to handle alone.
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If an alimony recipient remains in a single living situation, then alimony payments will likely continue uninterrupted in accordance with the divorce agreement. However, if an alimony recipient starts living with someone else, then a California court will likely consider his or her need for alimony reduced.
Unless the recipient can prove that he or she still needs alimony, the judge reviewing the divorce case will likely terminate the alimony payments. An alimony-paying divorcee will likely prefer to stop paying alimony as soon as possible rather than continue paying even after the recipient no longer needs it. It is also important to remember that while some state laws uphold stipulations concerning alimony recipients cohabiting with members of the opposite sex, these standards are more flexible today in light of growing acceptance of LGBT relationships.
Ultimately, a judge may decide that an alimony recipient does not need alimony anymore if he or she has a roommate of either sex, regardless of the nature of their relationship. Most alimony arrangements will have clear terms for the amount owed, timelines for payments, and conditions that would alter or nullify the arrangement. A divorcing couple may include several possible stipulations in an alimony arrangement:.
Like many other states , California courts offer temporary, rehabilitative, and permanent spousal support. A supported spouse may request temporary spousal support. If a judge awards temporary support, it will typically be granted from the date it's requested until the time the judge finalizes the divorce. The purpose of temporary support is to allow a lower-earning spouse to cover living expenses during the divorce process. This type of support is unique in that the courts usually calculate the amount of support by using the California child support guidelines instead of the spousal support factors listed below.
The goal of rehabilitative support is to give the lower-earning spouse enough support to allow time to gain valuable job skills or education to enter the workforce and become self-supporting. The idea behind reimbursement support is that when spouses work together to allow one to get an advanced degree, both will benefit from the advancements during the marriage. When couples divorce, only the spouse with the degree will benefit, and the court understands that may not be fair to the other. Spousal support is gender-neutral, meaning either spouse can request it from the other.
However, the hallmark rule in any spousal support case is that the requesting spouse needs the support, and the other can provide it. For temporary support requests, the court will gather financial information from each spouse, including information about income, expenses, assets, and debts and then determine an amount using a temporary support calculator. A requesting spouse can ask for temporary spousal support as early as the date of the divorce filing. Temporary relief ends when the judge finalizes the divorce. Typically, rehabilitative spousal support only lasts as long as it takes the supported spouse to acquire necessary training or skills to enter the workforce.
What is the Difference Between Permanent and Temporary Spousal Support?
Rehabilitative and permanent support will end if the supported spouse remarries or if either party dies. Either spouse can ask the court to modify or terminate the support order if that party can demonstrate a significant change of circumstances since the original order.
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The court will dictate how the paying spouse will pay spousal support.
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