Why and When is Alimony Granted in California?

The Goal of Alimony

Alimony (also known as spousal support) allows many individuals to get divorced and end abusive or unhappy marriages by awarding ongoing financial support during and after a divorce.  California family courts grant alimony only in cases where they can determine that alimony is necessary.  There are several types of alimony available after you file for divorce. Consult with a family law attorney to learn how to ask for spousal support and find out whether you’re entitled to temporary or permanent spousal support when you file for divorce.

The main goal of alimony is to give a spouse ongoing financial support after the marriage.  A spouse no longer has to stay in a bad marriage for fear of losing financial support and comfort. A spouse can get a divorce and receive financial support temporarily to help get back on their feet or, in some cases, maybe even permanently. 

How To Get Alimony

To receive alimony, you will need to prepare a strong argument about why you need it. Courts typically grant alimony to spouses who can demonstrate they need it. Alimony is typically granted in these or similar circumstances, but it can be granted in other cases as well:

  • A disability or health concern that makes it hard to support yourself.
  • A very long marriage, and you are accustomed to being supported.
  • Stay at home parent who cares (or cared) for the children or home.

Depending on the reasons that you request alimony, the court still needs to make a full assessment of your alimony claim.  Family law courts apply different alimony factors listed under California Family Code § 4320 in deciding whether to grant permanent alimony.  These factors range from the spouse’s income and assets to each spouse’s needs and the standard of living to which the couple were accustomed. Other factors that will be considered are each spouse’s age, health, and contribution to the other’s education or professional license.

If you are considering getting divorced, but you are concerned about how you will be able to support yourself during and after the divorce, speak with a California family law attorney. An attorney can explain your options and help you understand whether you might qualify for temporary alimony or permanent alimony, as well as the possible amount. An attorney can also help you develop a strong case for spousal support to be presented to the family court judge.

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