Alimony in California
When seeking to put an end to a marriage, California couples who wish to expedite the divorce process can file a joint petition. This will require them to create a written separation agreement to be submitted to a family court judge for approval. When drafting this document, it is important to explain in detail how the alimony in California agreed to by both spouses will be administered. Here are some things for couples to keep in mind when preparing to go to court.
In California, it is still possible for one spouse to seek permanent alimony in California. The court system in California generally discourages people who have not been in marriages lasting over ten years from applying for this kind of payment. If it is awarded, permanent alimony payments will continue until the spouse receiving them dies or remarries.
In marriages that last 10 years or less, alimony generally cannot be granted for a period longer than half the time of the relationship. Legislation grants judges the authority to consider any circumstances they feel to be relevant to any application for alimony in California. Some of these factors may include:
• The standard of living established during the marriage
• The job skills of the person seeking alimony, and the current employment options for a person with their professional background
• Whether the person seeking alimony helped support the financial or educational pursuits of their partner
• Whether the payment being requested can reasonably be paid by the other spouse
• Each parties’ financial assets and obligations
• Both parties’ age and health
• Any separate property assets
• Any criminal conviction of domestic abuse
While judges are granted the authority to prolong the payment period of any requested alimony in California, they will need to be convinced of the unusual circumstances justifying this petition.
Some couples may agree on the importance of entering court with a written agreement to present to the presiding judge but be able to negotiate the terms of their separation without advice from a neutral third party. In this case, both spouses may find it worthwhile to split the expense of hiring an attorney specializing in divorce mediation who can help bridge any disagreements and create a legally acceptable document. Many online templates can be found to use as a model.
If no agreement can be reached before trial, one or both spouses may decide it is necessary to hire the services of a lawyer. This attorney cannot be the same person as any divorce mediation lawyer who has been consulted. Taking this step will add greatly to the expense of the case. Even if you have a skilled attorney, there is no guarantee of what kind of alimony in California the judge will grant. It is best to attempt to create a written agreement with your spouse rather than leaving the decision up to a judge who will issue a ruling that may be unsatisfactory to both parties.