Spousal support, also known as alimony, is not something that is a part of every divorce. Everything depends on the circumstances of your own divorce and the economic position of each of the two partners. Spousal support is the court’s way of equalizing the standard of living between the two spouses when one has a greater earning power than the other.
Permanent and Temporary Spousal Support
There are two types of spousal support. The first is when one spouse needs some help, either during the divorce or while they work to enhance their own income potential. This type of spousal support is temporary. A court will usually order it for a set period of time, and it will have a termination date.
In other cases, the earnings disparity may never lessen. The law does not want one spouse to suffer a permanent reduction in their standard of living while the other spouse is able to maintain a lifestyle closer to that which the couple lived while married. Then, a court may order permanent alimony, paid either as a lump sum or in monthly payments.
The spousal support system is not blind to the situation of the paying spouse. The court will also consider the impact on the paying spouse and what spousal support may do to them. Alimony could be instituted through the agreement of the two parties in the separation agreement, or a judge could order in the contested phase of the divorce. Both spouses should consult an attorney.
Contact a Sacramento and Marin County Family Law Attorney
The Mason Law Office can help you work through divorce issues, including spousal support. You should call a lawyer early in your divorce process. Reach out to us online or call us at 833.717.1127 to begin getting legal help.