Los Angeles Spousal Support and Alimony Lawyers – Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton
Spousal Support (also known as Alimony) is paid by one spouse to the other to maintain the marital standard of living. There is no definitive formula for setting what is called “temporary” or “pendente lite” spousal support, even though the court often uses a computer program to fix the amount in the early stages of a divorce action.
“Permanent” spousal support is far more complex to set: A family law judge is not allowed to use a computer program to fix permanent support, and California law specifically states that the judge is to consider what is known as the 4320 factors at the time of trial.
When a spouse is negotiating the appropriate amount of permanent support, there are many things to consider–and many ways to screw it up. It is often appropriate to discount the amount of temporary spousal support when calculating permanent spousal support. It is also important to negotiate the duration, or amount of time, spousal support will be paid.
If one is the payor of spousal support, then ideally one wants to secure a waiver of spousal support. However, if this is not done right, then the supported spouse could come back to court and ask for alimony at some point in the future.
If one is involved in what is known as a long-term marriage, then it would be wise to hire competent counsel to advise you of your legal rights and obligations with regard to spousal support payments on a “permanent” basis”.
If you have been married for a short period of time, then the general rule of thumb is that spousal support will be paid for half the length of the marriage. But, here too, there are many ways to make a mistake, and you would be well-served to hire an experienced family law attorney. To make an appointment, please contact the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton at (310) 300-4021.