Divorce Busters: 3 Spousal Support Myths

Divorcing couple

No one enters into a marriage expecting it to end in divorce. However, this is the outcome for about 1 in every 2 marriages. Separating from your partner can inspire feelings of stress, disappointment, and frustration within you. These are perfectly natural emotions. However, you should not let them prevent you from looking after your material interests.

A divorce is the dissolution of your marital estate which will involve the division of property, money, and other assets. It’s important to ensure that you get your fair share of these things once you and your ex officially dissolve your marriage.

While you may believe that you can handle the division of your assets without assistance, one of the most essential ways to ensure you get an ideal outcome is to hire an experienced attorney. You need someone who knows divorce law and will be on your side as you go through this process. Divorce gives you the opportunity to start life anew, and you will need some financial security to make a fresh start.

The Truth About 3 Alimony Myths

Alimony, or spousal support, is a written agreement that requires the payor spouse to make regular payments to the other spouse. Alimony can be made as part of your divorce settlement. If it is, you want to ensure that it is fair and adequate. To do this, make sure to seek the services of an experienced alimony legal advocate.

There is a great deal of misinformation concerning alimony. Here are the top 3 myths and the truth about them:

1. Alimony is Automatic

Everything is subject to negotiation in a divorce settlement, including whether one spouse must pay alimony to the other; this does not go into effect automatically. A specific request must be made. An attorney will know how to make such a request on your behalf.

2. Alimony Is Determined the Same Exact Way Every Time

When determining spousal support payments, a judge will take into consideration a range of factors in determining the exact amount that must be paid. These include the length of the marriage, the payor spouse’s ability to pay, the job status of the supported spouse, and the marketable skills of the supported spouse.

3. Alimony After 10 years Is Guaranteed for Life

There is no set rule on this. If your marriage lasted for more than 10 years, the judge is likely to order that you are given the money required to maintain a position as close as possible to the marital standard of living. However, this will last only as long as you can become self-supporting; and the court will expect you to make a reasonable effort to do this.

Here are some of the other factors a judge will consider before making their final decision on alimony:

  • the extent to which the supported spouse’s ability to earn is impaired by the periods of unemployment owing to home-making obligations

  • the extent to which the supported spouse financially supported the paying spouse while the latter was in school, in training, going through a qualification course, or went through a low-income phase at the beginning of their career

  • the extent to which the supporting spouse is unable to work outside of the home without negatively impacting their responsibilities as the custodial parent

  • the age and health of each spouse

How a Family Law Firm Can Help

You do not have to go through the process of negotiating a divorce settlement on your own. Your lawyer will help guide you through the crucial phases.

The important thing is to ensure truthfulness and transparency in the finances of your marital estate. If you are on the verge of getting a divorce, no major purchases should be made, nor should you or your spouse undertake any further debt together. You must not do anything that will lead to a decrease in the amount of spousal support you may be entitled to.

This is especially important if you gave up your career to be a stay-at-home parent. If you stayed out of the workplace over the years to raise your children, it will be a long and difficult path to regain your former professional status and level of income. Judges are highly sympathetic to this situation and tend to decide in favor of the financially disadvantaged party. If you relied on your spouse’s income while making a home for them to relax in and enjoy, it is right for you to receive adequate support.

If you are going through a divorce, you need legal representation. You may have the support of your family and friends, but you also need the insight, advice, and counsel of an attorney with extensive expertise and experience in divorce and alimony cases.

If you are in the Pasadena, California area, do not hesitate to contact Schweitzer Law Partners. We will work to ensure you and your family walk away with an ideal outcome so you can focus on moving forward.

Contact our firm at (626) 788-5225 to discuss your case.