Spousal Support & Alimony Attorney in Ontario, CA

Notwithstanding the circumstances surrounding a divorce, the process can have significant ramifications on your financial and emotional health. Issues of spousal support and alimony usually arise during the divorce or legal separation process. The court can order spousal support to be paid fairly early in a case.  You do not have to wait until the divorce is over to receive support. If you are considering a divorce or currently amidst one and want to understand your options regarding alimony and spousal support arrangements, it is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney.

I have devoted my career to providing outstanding legal services and detailed guidance in divorce and spousal support-related matters. Whether you want to establish alimony arrangements or modify a current spousal support agreement, I will provide you with the proper legal counsel and advocacy you need. A one-on-one consultation with an experienced California spousal support attorney can help make the transition as smooth as possible for all the parties involved.

The Law Office of Shelly Jean John is proud to serve clients throughout San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, California.

Overview of Spousal Support in CA

After a divorce or legal separation, the court may order one of the spouses to pay a certain amount of money as support to the other spouse every month. This is referred to as spousal support or alimony. Spousal support is a court-ordered provision by a spouse to his or her ex-spouse during or after a divorce.

Types of Spousal Support

There are a few types of spousal support available in California including:

Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary alimony is paid to help with daily expenses and attorney costs during the divorce process. Temporary spousal support generally stops once the divorce is finalized.  This amount is based on a computer formula which considers the incomes of each parties and court-allowed deductions.  It is generally higher than the amount that is in the Judgment of Dissolution, but not always.

"Permanent" Spousal Support

I put "Permanent" in quotation marks because spousal support is rarely ever set for forever.  "Permanent" alimony is an ongoing payment made by one spouse to the other spouse on a regular and recurring basis. This amount is determined either by the Judicial Officer or agreed-upon by the parties and is included in the divorce judgment.  This kind of alimony may continue for a fixed period, indefinitely, until death of either party, until remarriage of the receiving spouse, or until the court modifies the amount.  

Spousal support is intended to help the receiving spouse get back on her/his feet as she/he becomes self-supporting.  Such payments can continue until the other spouse gets a college degree, acquires additional job skills, finds a new job, or earns sufficient income to support themselves.  

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Lump-Sum Spousal Support

Lump-sum alimony is awarded when one of the spouses forfeits their share of community property or assets. In essence, it’s a payment for their share of the property.

What Determines Type, Amount, and Duration of Alimony?

The following factors will be used to determine the type, amount, and duration of spousal support:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Age, mental health, and physical condition of the requesting spouse
  • The financial resources of the requesting spouse
  • Current employment status
  • The couple’s earning capacity and the standard of living that was established during the marriage
  • Any history of domestic violence or abuse between the parties
  • The time required for the requesting spouse to acquire additional job training, skill, or education to enable them to secure proper employment

Changes to Current Alimony Agreement

Under California laws, to modify a current alimony agreement, you have to show that there has been a significant “change in circumstances” since the initial alimony order was made. Some reasons that may prompt you to modify an existing alimony agreement include:

  • The receiving spouse no longer needs it
  • The paying spouse has a significant drop in income
  • The receiving spouse is not making a reasonable effort to be self-supporting
  • New marriage

It is important to remember that the court cannot change the amount of spousal support you owe prior to the date you file the request to modify the amount.  So, if you lose your job, you need to file your request right away.  Even though your hearing may not occur for a few months, the judicial officer can grant you relief back to the date that your motion was filed. 

Duration of Alimony

As a general rule, spousal support in California will last for half the length of a short-term marriage (marriage less than 10 years) while the alimony duration for a long-term marriage (marriage of at least 10 years) may continue indefinitely depending on the decision of the court. Hiring a knowledgeable California family law attorney is crucial when deciding alimony arrangements during a divorce process. 

How Legal Counsel Can Help

According to the CDC, there were 787,251 divorces and annulments in the United States in 2017. California’s rate is as high as 60 percent. Divorce and spousal support cases can be complicated and fiercely contested. Cases involving spousal support often require a trial.  If you are preparing for a divorce, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced spousal support attorney immediately to receive proper guidance on alimony arrangements.

At the Law Office of Shelly Jean John, I understand that the alimony process is emotional, and every case is unique. I have dedicated my career to handling family law matters such as those related to divorce, alimony, partner support, child support, and child custody. As an experienced California spousal support attorney, I will provide you with the comprehensive guidance you need to set up or modify spousal support arrangements.

Experienced Spousal Support & Alimony Attorney in Ontario, CA

If you are considering a divorce and would like to know your options concerning alimony arrangements, call the Law Office of Shelly Jean John today to schedule a free one-on-one case evaluation. I am experienced in the nuances of California family law and will help you find strategic solutions for the best interests of you and your family. I’m proud to represent clients in Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, California as well as the surrounding communities. Call my law firm today to get the proper guidance and advocacy you need.