The automatic assumption that many in Manhattan Beach may have going into divorce proceedings is that one said will be required to pay the other alimony. If you follow this same line of thinking, then you should know that spousal support or maintenance (other terms for alimony) is not automatic. The court considers a number of different factors when determining if alimony is truly warranted in your case.
The goal of alimony is to allow both you and your spouse to maintain a similar standard of living to the one that you achieved while you were married. Thus, the court will determine what each of you needs in order to accomplish that, and how much you both can currently afford toward that end. Per The Judicial Branch of California, it will also consider factors such as:
- How long your marriage lasted
- Yours and your spouse’s respective ages and states of health
- Yours and your spouse’s debts and property
- The tax implications that may come with alimony payments
- If maintaining a job would make it difficult for one of you to take care of your children
- If there were any accusations of domestic violence or abuse during your marriage
Additionally, the court will consider whether you (or your spouse) gave up on your own career ambitions to take of your home and/or children, as well as whether you (or your spouse) contributed to the other being able to complete schooling or receive vocational training.
In the event that alimony is awarded as part of your divorce agreement, it may not be a permanent obligation. Rather, you (or your now ex-spouse) may only have to pay it until one of you remarries, dies or secures gainful employment.