Low-cost Spousal Support Attorney
Spousal support can have a lasting financial impact upon both parties after divorce. Unlike child support awards, spousal support is not mandatory. The award, amount, and duration of spousal support can depend heavily upon the advocacy of your divorce attorney. To help clients secure their financial interests in contested spousal support proceedings divorce attorney Michael Benavides offers an affordable hourly rate payable by credit card.
To schedule your office consultation call divorce attorney Michael Beanvides at (916) 250-1610.
Calculating Permanent Spousal Support
Unlike child support, permanent spousal support is not calculated using a formula. Instead, the determination whether to award support, the amount of support and the duration of support is based upon the consideration and weighing of 14 factors found in Family Code §4320.
- Earning Capacity – the court must consider each party’s earning capacity and whether that earning capacity is sufficient to maintain the standard of living during marriage. In doing so the court will consider the supported spouse’s education, job skills, and the market for those skills. The court will also consider the supported spouse’s possible need for education to enhance the marketability of those skills to produce income. Likewise, the court will consider the effect of prolonged unemployment during marriage on the supported spouse’s future earning capacity.
- Contribution to Education, Career or License – the court will consider any contributions made by the supported spouse to the supporting spouse’s education, training, career, position or license. What constitutes a contribution is interpreted broadly and can include contributions in the form of reduced living expenses.
- Ability to Pay – the court will consider the supporting spouse’s ability to pay spousal support. In doing so the court will evaluate the supporting spouse’s actual income, earning capacity, assets and standard of living.
- Parties’ Needs – the court will consider each parties’ needs in light of the standard of living during marriage. There is no precise calculation to gauge the marital standard of living. In making this determination the court can look to income and expenses over time, but in any event the determination is intended to be an approximation of the general station in life enjoyed by the spouses during marriage.
- Assets – the court will consider each party’s assets, including their separate property. If the supported spouse has significant separate property this factor weighs against the award of support. In contrast, if the supporting spouse has significant separate property that may evidence an ability to pay spousal support.
- Length of Marriage – The court will look to the length of marriage in determining the duration of spousal support. Generally, the longer the duration of marriage, the longer the duration of spousal support. Marriages of very long duration which leave the supported spouse in advanced age with unmarketable skills may result in an order of indeterminate duration such that support will end upon the death of either spouse.