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Sacramento Spousal Support Lawyer Manages Alimony Disputes

Skilled negotiation and litigation for payors and recipients

If you are dissolving your marriage or domestic partnership, spousal or partner support is one of the most important issues affecting your financial future. Whether you will receive or have to pay support depends on financial reality and provable circumstances. At the Law Office of Stephanie L. Williams, we have extensive experience negotiating spousal support as part of a marital settlement agreement and litigating the issues at trial. You can rely on our knowledge and commitment to deliver the best results possible under the facts of your case.

Types of alimony available in California

California law provides for two distinct types of spousal support during and after a dissolution of marriage or a domestic partnership. They include:

  • Pendente lite support — This is temporary alimony for a dependent spouse during the divorce process. It is intended to allow the recipient to live in the manner to which he or she is accustomed while the divorce is pending.
  • Permanent alimony — This is post-judgment support for a dependent spouse, who cannot be expected to become fully self-supporting immediately.  It is intended to make an equitable apportionment of resources between the parties. Permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either spouse, the remarriage of the supported spouse, or stipulation or a court order modifying the award.

The law allows alimony to be paid in a lump sum or in regular payments.

How the court decides whether to award alimony and how much

The purpose of alimony is to make sure the divorce does not inflict financial hardship on one spouse while unjustly enriching the other. The law requires a judge to consider numerous circumstances, and any other factors that might be just and fair. Key provisions include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each party’s earning capacity, presently and in the future
  • The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
  • The needs of dependent children
  • The age and health of the parties
  • Any history of domestic abuse
  • Tax consequences

The goal of alimony generally is to have the supported spouse be independent within a reasonable amount of time, which can vary widely depending on the facts of the case.

Alimony lawyer in Sacramento handles modification actions

There are many reasons why a supporting spouse may seek a downward modification or a termination of alimony:

  • Financial hardship
  • The supported spouse’s lack of good faith effort to become self-supporting
  • The remarriage of the supported spouse
  • The supported spouse is cohabiting with another or is in another supported relationship

Although it is rare for a court to grant an increase in the amount of alimony or the duration, a spouse can move for an increase by showing the prior order was not sufficient at the time it was made, or the reasonable costs of meeting the supported spouse’s needs have increased substantially since. If those requirements are met, the supported spouse must then prove the supporting spouse can afford to pay the increase.

No matter where you are in your alimony dispute, we provide personalized care and dedicated assistance to protect your financial interests.

Trust a board-certified family law attorney in Sacramento to manage your alimony dispute

Divorce can introduce a great deal of financial uncertainty into your life. That’s why, at the Law Office of Stephanie L. Williams, we work hard for spousal support orders that protect your financial future. To learn more, call 916-407-0544 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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