Spousal Support/Alimony & Spousal Support Modifications

Finding the best divorce lawyer in San Diego for you is very important. The family lawyers in our firm have more than 80 years of combined experience in helping spouses through the challenges of a dissolution of marriage, including the often contested matter of determining the amount of support a spouse may have to pay his or her spouse.

Spousal support, also called “alimony” in some states, can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce.  If you are the higher-earner, you may be concerned about how much you will have to pay your spouse and for how long you will have to pay.  If you are the spouse who has had little or no employment outside the home during marriage, you may worry about whether you will have the financial support you need.  No matter your situation, as experienced San Diego spousal support lawyers, we have the knowledge and skill to handle this issue and relate it to your particular financial circumstances.

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support/alimony is a payment by one spouse to the other spouse.  Spousal support can be ordered by the court during the divorce process (temporary support) and at the end (permanent spousal support).  Although the order received at the end of the divorce may be called “permanent,” in many cases such orders can be modified later if there are significant changes of circumstances, so long as the existing order does not provide that spousal support is not modifiable.  Spousal support can be agreed upon by the parties rather than decided by a judge, but their agreement, to be enforceable, must be put in writing and incorporated into a court order.  

The particular circumstances of your case will determine whether you will receive or pay spousal support, how much the support will be, and how long it will be paid.  As experienced divorce lawyers in San Diego, we will evaluate what you can expect in either temporary or permanent spousal support.  We will discuss with you the several factors the courts will consider in calculating a permanent order for support or modifying a permanent order.  These factors include:

  • Ages of the parties
  • Each party’s earnings or ability to earn
  • Health and physical limitations of each party
  • Periods of unemployment for a spouse during marriage because of family responsibilities or promoting the other spouse’s career
  • Requirements for retraining or educating of a spouse seeking support
  • The standard of living the parties maintained during their marriage
  • The length of the marriage

In addition, the courts may also consider what each spouse is receiving in the division of the marital assets or from his or her separate property.  

As San Diego spousal support lawyers, we can discuss with you the impact the length of your marriage has on the issue of how long spousal support will be paid.  We can also advise you if the spousal support order that was part of your judgment of dissolution of marriage can be modified because of a significant change of circumstance.  If your permanent order is modifiable, the court will consider significant changes in the income, health, or other financial circumstances of the parties. If litigation becomes necessary, having one of our experienced family law attorneys represent you will help ensure that the court is provided with all the information needed to support your request for a raising or lowering of spousal support.

Military Divorce and Spousal Support

As military divorce lawyers in San Diego we have the experience and knowledge to represent parties in cases where one or both of the parties is in the military. Residency, pay, and allowances for housing and subsistence all have to be carefully evaluated when spousal support or child support is requested.  In addition, military members have certain rights and protections in the dissolution process.