Sometimes, it can feel like taking the high road to decide to move through the divorce process without involving attorneys. Unfortunately, trying to end a marriage can be a messy, drawn-out process where emotions run high, leading to compromised decision making.
Particularly when there are children or a non-working spouse involved in the marriage being dissolved, there can be a lot at stake in terms of financial support and the equitable division of your marital assets. Choosing to work with an attorney will protect your financial future and ensure the end result of the divorce is as fair and equitable as possible for all involved.
When is alimony typically required in a divorce?
Alimony, also called spousal support, may be required for a number of reasons during and after your divorce proceedings. You and your soon to be former spouse may have agreed on a certain level of support in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. These agreements are generally legal documents executed prior to the decision to divorce that guide the outcome of the process.
Typically, support can also be ordered if one spouse was non-working during the marriage, particularly if he or she was keeping home or raising children. This can also apply to same sex marriages and partnerships, although partner support is considered a separate legal issue.
How long will alimony be required?
There are a number of factors that the courts will have to consider to determine how long support must be paid. One of the most critical will be what job skills the spouse requesting support currently has, the market for those skills, the length of training for a better job, and the impact of the time they spent off the labor market during the marriage.
Typically, courts consider roughly half the length of the marriage to be a reasonable amount of time for support or alimony payments, but that can vary based on other factors, including allegations of abuse and the presence of children, particularly special needs children who may preclude your former spouse from working full time.
Working with an attorney will protect you and your financial future
If there's reason to believe, due to circumstances or a pre-existing agreement, that spousal support will be required as part of your divorce agreement, it's critical that you hire an experienced California divorce attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to review the details of your situation and provide expert advice as to the best and most realistic way forward.
Failing to hire an attorney could be a very expensive mistake that can cost you for years to come. Don't gamble with your financial future! Speak with a divorce litigation attorney as soon as you know a divorce is imminent.