In a California divorce, it is common for one spouse to be ordered to pay alimony (also referred to as spousal support) as part of the settlement. There are many considerations when determining the amount, and disputes are common. This is especially challenging for couples with significant wealth, but it can be a concern for anyone regardless of his or her financial circumstances.
Understanding what is considered with alimony
The court will weigh several factors when deciding on alimony. That includes the standard of living the couple had during the marriage. With wealthy couples, that might have included a large home, vacations, automobiles and more. The person getting alimony will receive a sufficient amount to reasonably replicate that lifestyle. Another aspect is the parties’ earning potential. Those who are educated or have the skills to earn enough to self-support in a manner comparable to what he or she did during the marriage will not require as high an amount in alimony. Those who cannot will receive more.
Age, physical condition and financial well-being of the spouses are important. For an older person, it will likely be more difficult to find employment to be able to support him or herself and another person. The alimony will reflect this. If it was a long-term marriage, there is a greater chance of a larger alimony award. Shorter marriages generally result in less alimony. However, like every other part of the alimony decision, this depends on the situation.
Professional assistance can be critical in receiving a fair alimony award
Alimony can be temporary and paid for a limited period. This includes rehabilitative, so the receiving spouse can get on his or her feet; reimbursement to pay for expenses that person might have accrued to help the other; or a lump-sum paid in one installment. Alimony can also be permanent. The person who is expected to pay may have a number in mind that he or she deems is fair. His or her ex could have a very different idea as to what would be appropriate. It is beneficial to have help from professionals who are experienced in negotiating a reasonable agreement or aggressively handling the case in court.