Spousal Support That Treats Both Sides Fairly
Issues concerning spousal support or alimony understandably raise significant anxiety and, sometimes, disagreement between couples entering into a divorce. Whether a spouse expects to pay support or receive it, the financial obligations represent a continuing connection to a spouse – one that, in some cases, can last for years after a divorce is finalized.
With more than 30 years of practice in the area of divorce and family law, Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law, has developed a pragmatic approach to spousal support disputes in order to benefit our clients for both the short and long term.
Strategic counsel is required because spousal support can incite strong reactions from both spouses in a divorce. Using a collaborative approach, we represent people in San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties. We strive to ensure that, regardless of their relative financial positions, legal rights are protected both during and following divorce proceedings.
How Spousal Support Works In California
There are two types of spousal support payments that California courts can order: temporary support and post-judgment support. Temporary support is meant to provide for the recipient spouse during the course of divorce proceedings. In a litigated divorce, the amount of support is determined by formulas linked to the difference between spousal incomes, once child support payments are accounted for.
By contrast, courts determine post-judgment support obligations by looking at a long list of factors and assessing what the longer-term needs of the recipient spouse will be.
Among the factors a court may consider are:
- Age and health of the spouses at the time of divorce
- Length of the marriage
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Whether one spouse left the workforce to be a homemaker or care for children
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education of the other
Parties can take greater control over the process by using mediation or collaborative law to arrive at a spousal support agreement. In these situations, the couple’s unique financial situation is reviewed and considered. Review periods, end dates and other measures can be incorporated to ensure fairness for both parties.
In some cases, it may be advisable to make a support agreement unmodifiable or to consider a spousal support buyout. As an experienced Burlingame spousal support lawyer, our attorney, Lisa Murray, knows when such nontraditional approaches may be wise.