California Alimony Attorney

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2016, about 243,000 individuals received alimony payments, of which 98% were women. Issues of spousal support or alimony usually arise during the divorce or legal separation process and may need to be addressed. If you are considering a divorce or are currently amidst one and would like to understand your options regarding alimony arrangements, it is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney for detailed guidance.

Attorney Karen S. Brown is committed to providing comprehensive representation in family law-related matters, including divorce and spousal support. Whether you are trying to establish alimony arrangements or modify an existing spousal support agreement, she can offer you the experienced legal counsel and advocacy you need. She will support you throughout your divorce proceedings and help make the transition as smooth as possible.

The Law Office of Karen S. Brown proudly serves clients throughout Southern California including  Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita, Westside and beach communities. 

Overview of Alimony in California

During a divorce or legal separation, California courts may order the higher-earning spouse to make certain payments as support to the lower- or non-earning spouse. This is often referred to as spousal support or alimony.

Spousal support can be described as a court-ordered provision by a spouse to their ex-spouse during or after a divorce. The spouse who makes the payment is known as the “payer spouse,” while the spouse who receives the payment is known as the “supported spouse” or “payee spouse.”

Types of Alimony in California

There are several types of spousal support the California courts may award, including:

Temporary Alimony

Temporary alimony is a financial provision from the higher-earning spouse to help the lower-earning spouse with attorney fees and other daily expenses during the divorce proceedings. Once the divorce is finalized, temporary alimony will end.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony or “long-term support” is a regular support payment made by the higher-earning spouse to the lower- or non-earning spouse to help him or her to continue living at or near the “marital standard of living,” even after the divorce. This type of alimony is awarded in cases for longer marriages or when a spouse is unable to become financially independent due to a disability, critical illness or advanced age.

Reimbursement Alimony

In a situation where one spouse funded the job training, skill acquisition or education of the other spouse, California courts may award reimbursement alimony. The spouse who was earlier sponsored will be asked to reimburse the other spouse through alimony payments.

What Factors Are Considered when Determining the Type, Amount and Duration of Alimony?

The following factors will be considered in determining the type, amount and duration of alimony:

  • The length of the marriage

  • The age, physical and mental health of the spouses

  • The ability of the paying spouse to pay alimony

  • The marketable skills of the supported spouse

  • The paying spouse’s earning capacity, assets and standard of living

  • The obligations and assets of both spouses’ including separate property

  • The financial needs of both spouses based on their marital standard of living

  • The time and expense needed for the recipient spouse to complete their education or training or acquire a skill

  • How much the recipient spouse contributed to the completion of an education, career or job training of the paying spouse

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Modifications to Existing Agreement

As long as the original decree does not contain any statement that makes it non-modifiable, an existing alimony agreement may be modified by either spouse. A spousal support order may be modified in two ways:

  • Both spouses will agree to change the duration or amount of the alimony.

  • One spouse may file a motion to the court showing “a material change of circumstance” since the original decree was made.

Reasons that may necessitate modifying an existing spousal support agreement include:

  • Involuntary job loss

  • A significant drop in income of the paying spouse

  • New marriage

  • The supported spouse no longer needs the monthly support payments

  • The supported spouse isn’t making any reasonable effort to become self-supporting

An alimony obligation will automatically terminate upon the death of the recipient spouse.

Tax Ramifications

In California, alimony is tax-deductible once you and your estranged spouse file separate tax returns. However, alimony isn’t deductible if you file jointly.

Hiring an Alimony Attorney

Divorce and spousal support matters involve a lot of complexities. If you are preparing for a divorce or already in the process of one, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable California spousal support attorney immediately to receive detailed guidance on alimony arrangements.

Attorney Karen S. Brown has dedicated her career to providing outstanding legal services and handling divorce and spousal support cases. She understands how emotional the alimony process can be. As your legal counsel, she will offer you the detailed guidance and advocacy you need to set up or modify spousal support arrangements.

What’s more, attorney Karen S. Brown can help you consider your options and determine the best course of action. She can help you navigate key decisions and make your transition from married to single as smooth as possible.

Spousal Support Attorney Serving California

If you are considering a divorce or are already amidst one and would like to know your options regarding alimony arrangements, call the Law Office of Karen S. Brown today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation. Attorney Karen S. Brown will use her extensive experience and negotiation skills to help guide you through the process.