Alimony can be a sensitive subject in divorce cases. When one spouse is requesting divorce alimony, a couple is more likely to have a contested divorce or require the help of mediators or lawyers. People ordered to continue financially supporting their ex-spouses for years after the marriage has ended often feel resentful about having to bankroll the lifestyle of someone who broke their heart in addition to knocking them down a tax bracket or two with an expensive divorce. If the court has ordered your ex-spouse to pay alimony, but he pays too little too late and always gives you a guilt trip, that is also a source of frustration. If there is a bright side to this, it is that it is possible to modify alimony orders without repeating the expensive ordeal of working with divorce lawyers. Instead, you can have a California legal document assistant professionally prepare your divorce alimony papers.
Temporary and Permanent Divorce Alimony in California
Until the day your divorce becomes final, you and your spouse are both bound to the financial obligations you shared during the marriage. That means that, even if you have moved out of the marital home and agreed that your wife can keep it, you are still responsible for your share of the bills until the divorce is finalized. That means that you must keep paying the same share of the mortgage, utility bills, and other household expenses as you used to pay before you separated or filed for divorce. These payments are called temporary alimony, or alimony pendente lite. Your temporary alimony obligations automatically terminate upon finalization of your divorce. If you stop paying these expenses, the court will order you to pay them. Failure to obey the order can result in contempt of court.
In California, spousal or partner support can be temporary or permanent. “Permanent alimony” can go on indefinitely. On the other hand, “temporary alimony” is awarded as a transitional stop-gap until the spouse receiving the alimony can get on their feet. Couples that are divorcing amicably can also agree to the amount and duration of the alimony in their marital settlement agreement. Alimony obligations usually have a pre-set end date. Sometimes, however, the obligation to pay alimony is open-ended meaning the court retains the ability to modify or extend the support indefinitely. Most judges will not order a party to pay alimony for more than half the length of the marriage. For example, if you were married for eight years, then you will pay alimony for four. The amount of alimony is based on each party’s income and non-marital assets, as well as the supported spouse’s earning potential. Some marriages end with no alimony obligations at all. The only cases where you will have to pay your ex-spouse alimony for the rest of your lives is if you were married for decades, and because of her age, health, and lack of work experience, your spouse is truly unable to earn income by working.
You can Resolve Divorce Alimony Disputes Without a Lawyer
You can reduce your alimony obligations or enforce your alimony order without going back to your divorce lawyer and paying a fortune like you did during the original divorce case. If the divorce alimony order is not “locked in” and is modifiable, a party can ask the court to reconsider the current alimony order. Contact A People’s Choice at 800-747-2780 to have our experienced legal document assistant office prepare your divorce alimony paperwork.
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