You were married for many years. You are now alone and must begin to face the challenge of adjusting to life as a single person. Not only are you struggling with the emotional toll of the separation, you are terrified when you think about how you are going to make ends meet.
For spouses who have not worked for a significant amount of time during the marriage, spousal support is supposed to make the transition easier. If you were the high-earning spouse during the marriage, this may mean that a substantial portion of your income will go to your spouse in order to help him or her financially. There is no hard and fast rule as to who pays spousal support, how much will be paid, or for how long the obligation will last.
Alimony settlement and litigation is complicated and it will affect your financial future for many years to come. You need an experienced attorney to navigate this legal maze for you. Call us today to learn more.
Purpose of Spousal Support in California
Spousal support is not automatic. In fact, spousal support is only ordered in about 15% of all California divorces. However, the percentage of spouses who receive alimony in Riverside and San Bernardino counties is higher. Why? Because it is more common for one spouse to work and the other spouse to stay home in these counties, and spousal support is specifically designed for these types of situations. Spousal support helps the transition to single life easier for the non-working spouse.
Asking for Spousal Support in Riverside and San Bernardino
Most requests for spousal support are made in conjunction with other family law matters. Cases in which requests for spousal support are typically made include:
- Divorce Actions
- Domestic violence Actions
- Legal separation Actions
- Requests for Temporary Support
- Requests for Permanent Support
- Requests for Modification of Support
How Spousal Support is Calculated
There is no formula used to determine how much spousal support one party should pay to the other. In determining whether spousal support should be ordered, how much the order should be for, and how long the orders should last, the court must look at the totality of the situation. In making this decision, the court will look at many factors:
- Length of Marriage
- Work History of each spouse
- Education of each spouse
- Earning ability of each spouse
- Behavior and conduct of each party during the marriage
- Inability to work due to the age of the children
- Debts acquired during the marriage
- Assets acquired during the marriage
- History of domestic violence
- Each spouse’s needs based on the standard of living during the marriage
- Each spouse’s age
- Each spouse’s health status
- Separate assets owned by each spouse
- Any other factors which impact fairness
Divorce Property Division
Getting divorced is never easy. Having to give up the financial security you’ve worked so hard for makes a difficult situation even more stressful. California is what is community property state. This requires assets that were earned during the marriage to be divided equally during a divorce. This is true even if one spouse behaved badly during the marriage, such as by having an affair or committing spousal abuse. Simply put, almost anything you or your spouse obtained during the marriage will probably need to be divided during your divorce.
Property that must be divided during a divorce includes everything that was earned during the marriage. These assets include:
- The family residence
- Rental properties
- Savings in the bank
- Cash on hand
- Stocks and bonds
- 401k’s and IRA’s
- Pension plans
- Household furniture
- Boats and Trailers
- Whole life insurance plans
- Businesses and business interests
Dividing a Business
Figuring out how to divide your property evenly can be incredibly difficult. This is particularly true if you own a business. There are many factors that must be addressed when figuring out how a business should be divided. This includes:
- The type of business
- The amount of assets owned by the business
- When the business was started
- If the business is a professional corporation
- The amount of goodwill in the business
- Whether it is a service business
- The number of employees
- The amount of accounts receivable
- The amount of accounts payable
- The types of customers serviced by the business
- The accuracy of the financial records
If you are experiencing a divorce and own a business, you need a thorough review of your situation. It is important to work with a family law attorney who understands accounting procedures, valuation of property and divorce. Family Law Matters will work closely with the appropriate experts to make sure that all property valued and divided appropriately. Call our office in Corona to get help on this important issue.
Divorce Who Stays in the Home?
You have come to the realization that your marriage is over. Your life is being turned upside down. Everything you know and have been comfortable with is now changing. You and your spouse have worked hard and saved money to buy the home of your dreams. You moved out to Riverside county and purchased a home in the Corona area because it was affordable. This is the home you were going to raise your children in. This is the home where the memories live. On top of everything else- will you lose your home?
You just have one question: can I stay in my home? You do not want to uproot the children and you do not want to have to give up anything else. Determining whether you will be able to stay in your home depends upon a number of factors, including:
- Who bought the house?
- Whose name is on title?
- Who wants to remain in the home?
- Who has custody of the children?
- How much is owed on the house?
- How much is the house worth?
- Can either spouse afford to buy the other out of the homed?
- Can an agreement be reached?
Oftentimes, an agreement can be negotiated through the help of a skilled attorney to allow one spouse to stay in the home, even if he or she cannot independently afford to stay in the house. This may include delaying any refinancing of the home or waiting until all the children graduate before selling it. Please call our office if you would like more information on this subject.
Divorce Dividing Debts
When separating your finances during a divorce, debts must also be separated. All liabilities must be addressed in any divorce negotiations or judgment. Liabilities can include:
- Credit card debt
- Home mortgage
- Loans for solar panels
- Lines of Credit
- 401k loans
- Vehicle loans
- Business debt
- Student loans
- Tax Debt
All too often, spouses are unable to agree as to how things should be divided. It is critical that you receive proper legal guidance during your divorce. Family Law Matters is highly skilled in in this area. Please call us to speak to one of our caring and knowledgeable attorneys.
Before a divorce can become final, California divorce law requires both spouses to reveal to the other how much they earn, how much they owe, and how much they own. This is called a Declaration of Disclosures. Details that must be revealed include such things as:
- Base Salary
- Commissions earned
- Bonuses earned
- Amount of overtime worked
- Benefits accrued
- Amount of health insurance premiums
- Amount paid into retirement
- All money held in savings
- All loans taken out
- Rental income
These disclosures are used to help each party make an informed decision when it comes to dividing all assets and debts fairly.