In California, alimony is referred to as spousal support. It is intended to ease the transition the lower earning spouse must make after they lose the benefit of the higher earning spouse’s income. California has adopted the position that each spouse must make a reasonable attempt to become self supporting. The devil is in the details. How much should be paid? For how long? What is "a reasonable attempt to become self supporting"? Can the amount be changed? Do they really need anything at all? What about their other assets and income?
Spousal Support / Alimony
In the short term, meaning from the time the case is filed until the Judgment is entered, spousal support is set under the "Guidelines" adopted by the County in which the case is heard. These Guidelines are similar to the Guidelines referenced in the Child Support Discussion above, and, of course, an attorney with an intimate knowledge of the Guidelines and the software invaluable.
At the end of the case however, the court is prevented by law from using the guidelines and must make an independent evaluation under Family Code section 4320. There are 38 identified factors in section 4320, and the last factor is "Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable."
In other words, anything and everything might be relevant in making the determination and this is where an experienced attorney is invaluable. What is relevant? How should the court be made aware of it? What does this particular judge do with one factor or another?
Our office has conducted literally thousands of court hearings and trials on this issue alone, and many other thousands in other contexts. We have litigated many cases against, with, and before all the Judges in Ventura County. Our record of success is unparalleled. For many persons who are past middle age, these hearings might be the most important hearings of their lives. It should not be left to chance. Call our office for a free consultation.
The Law Offices of Michael J. Smith are located directly
across the street from the Ventura County Court House
789 S. Victoria Avenue
Ventura, CA 93003
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