Avoid Overpaying Spousal Support
There are several ways to avoid paying alimony in an amount beyond the standard of living that occurred during the marriage. A California spousal support attorney can help the spouse calculate alimony consistent with the marital standard of living. Legal representation can help the high-earning spouse avoid overpaying spousal support.
Increased Income After Divorce
A spouse expecting alimony is generally not entitled to alimony based on increases in income after separation. For example, if the most amount of money the spouse who pays alimony received during the marriage per year was $100,000 and now he or she earns $200,000, it is not reasonable for the other spouse to receive alimony based on the increased income. The paying spouse should be diligent ahead of time and before agreeing to a court order or at a hearing.
Another common situation is when a former spouse is cohabitating with another person of the opposite sex. If your former spouse is cohabiting with a non-marital partner, he or she is presumed to have a reduced need. This should not be ignored. There are various family codes that protect against spousal support abuse. To get answers for your specific situation consult with an experienced California family law attorney and spousal support lawyer.
Spouse Who Refuses to Work
If the spouse who wants alimony has the option to be gainfully employed but refuses to work or is willfully underemployed, a vocational examination can be requested and ordered in family court. A vocational examiner evaluates the spouse’s earning capacity, ability and opportunity and reports to the court whether the spouse can earn an income. Should the court agree with the vocational examiner’s assessment, it may modify or terminate spousal support.
The Wealthy Ex
Although not the usual scenario, there are spouses who are self-sufficient or have independent wealth separate from marital funds and do not have a need for spousal alimony. For example, if the alimony seeking spouse has an inheritance to pay for expenses, that spouse may have a lesser need for spousal alimony. This may be the case even if the other spouse was the wage earner during the marriage and has the ability to pay alimony.
The Paying Spouse Who Has Sole Child Custody
When a divorced parent has sole custody of the child or children, there is significant financial responsibility for their daily care and payment of additional child related expenses. These expenses may significantly impact that spouse’s ability to pay alimony.
If you have a pending divorce or want to modify alimony call a family law attorney for a free consultation. During a free consultation a local family law attorney can advise you on your spousal support options and ability to modify existing spousal support.