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Paying or receiving alimony? Protect yourself from being cheated

When divorce in California is inevitable, one of the biggest causes of divorce — money — continues to be a problem during the divorce proceeding as well. For example, especially in a high-asset divorce, you and your spouse may be arguing over how to divide your community property. However, another common area of contention is spousal support, or alimony.

Alimony is designed to ensure that the spouse who earned less or who did not earn anything during the marriage continues to receive income. After all, one spouse might have agreed to give up a career to take care of the children. Receiving financial support may buy this spouse some time to develop job skills and become self-sufficient following divorce.

How does alimony work?

When you and your spouse are dissolving your marriage, the court might award spousal support to either of you according to an agreement you reached or its own decision. Spousal support is different from child support, which is generally mandated based on fixed monetary guidelines. With alimony, courts have wide discretion to decide whether a spouse should receive it, the award amount, and how long he or she should receive it.

The court considers several factors in making a spousal support decision, including both you and your spouse's ages, physical conditions and emotional states, as well as how much time you or your spouse may need training and/or education to achieve self-sufficiency. Other factors the court will take into consideration include how long you were married, your standard of living while you were married and the payer's ability to pay the recipient.

How can an attorney help?

If you are the one who will likely have to provide support, your main concern may be having to pay an unreasonably high amount to your ex. Meanwhile, if you will likely be receiving alimony, your main focus is getting the maximum amount available to you. The issue can come up in divorce litigation or during alternatives to litigation, such as in mediation.

During mediation, an attorney in California can help you to achieve an agreement with your future ex that will protect you long-term. Likewise, during litigation, your attorney will fight for the most personally favorable result for you considering the circumstances surrounding your divorce case.

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The Law Firm of Yolanda V. Torres, APLC
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Phone: (714) 541-5400
Fax: (714) 242-7416
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