Spousal Support

Our Experienced Family Law Attorney’s recognize that whether a marriage was short term or over 30 years our clients have expectations about support and alimony. Paying support or getting an order to receive spousal support are essential first steps in any divorce or separation.

Steven Lorber has 33 years legal experience and gives this advice to all clients who are seeking or may be ordered to pay spousal support, “as a Mediation Family Law expert I want to gather all the facts that I can. I anticipate mutual agreement and mediation to work, but I always prepare for a long fought struggle in the court.”

Family Law mediation is always an ideal scenario, where the parties can agree on how a marriage should be ended. Financial decisions however are never easy to make, especially where one spouse has significantly higher income or financial resources than the other. Waiting for a court to make a permanent order for spousal support or coming to an agreement can leave a client in dire financial situation.

Temporary spousal support is the best option to establish the level of support a spouse should be receiving until a final settlement or judgment is reached. The California family law code lists multiple factors a judge will consider in setting the amount of a spousal support order. The most important factors however as Family Law Attorney Steven Lorber explains is maintaining the marital standard of living, this is done by weighing a spouses need vs the other spouses ability to pay.

A married couple who regularly spent money on a gym membership, expensive clothing, luxury automobiles and vacations will have a high monthly cost of living for the household. A spouse who earns little or no salary who is married to a high earning spouse should expect their attorney to argue for significant levels of spousal support.

Temporary spousal support can only be ordered from the day that such a request is filed with a court. At Family Law Del Mar our attorney team always prefers a negotiated or mediated settlement; our concern is always to protect the interests of our client. The court does not look at all possible factors in ordering temporary spousal support, instead the judge will consider the strongest arguments presented at the time the order is requested and decide what level of support a spouse needs until a final support order can be entered.

Family Law Mediation offers several advantages over contested hearings to establish long term spousal support. The factors a court will consider are the same that a mediator will look to. These support factors include:

  • Marketable skills and ability of a party to find a job in the current job market;
  • If a party will need significant re-training or schooling to find gainful employment
  • The amount of time one party spent unemployed because of duties raising the children, maintaining the home or supporting the development of the other spouses career

A good example a spousal support scenario that many of our clients face is a marriage that lasted 15 years or more. Such marriages are considered long-term in California Family Law and present unique requirements for the amount and duration of support orders. While temporary orders last only until a permanent order is agreed to or decided by a court; the permanent order lasts for many years. There is no presumption with marriages of such length that support will go on for only half the length of the marriage. A spouse who was unable to develop a career or highly marketable skills for a good job due to the raising of children or support of a spouses career can have support ordered for a significant time.

A practiced San Diego Family Law Attorney knows that timing and organization in the early stages of a divorce are key to long term success. Getting the orders and agreements our clients deserve is our goal every day at Family Law Del Mar.