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Understanding what determines alimony amount

The end of a marriage brings a lot of changes. For some divorcing couples in California, it means seeking or paying spousal support. While some spouses expect this to be a part of the process, others are caught off-guard when an ex seeks this financial support. Thus, it is important to understand what determines whether one is eligible for alimony, the amount they will receive and how long these payments will continue.

When alimony is on the table, it is important to understand what sources of income the court will look at when determining this obligation. Typically, when it comes to income, the court will consider this to be any type of earned income or compensation. This means income that results from employment or efforts that cause passive income, such as dividends. The court will likely consider salary, partnership distributions, employment perks, contributions to a retirement account, bonuses, deferred compensation and carried interest to fall under the category of earned income.

There are other factors the court will weigh in on. While they will look at the most recently filed income tax return, the court could also delve deeper into money that isn’t reported. This means looking at the lifestyle the couple was accustomed to and understanding what sources of money funded it.

Additionally, the court could also establish that income of a spouse is not reflective of what they could be earning or the income that the couple relied on to support their lifestyle. This information could be reflective in the resulting calculation for alimony payments.

Whether you are seeking alimony, attempting to modify current payments, enforce an order or are requesting these payments to stop, it is beneficial to understand one’s rights in these matters. These not only protects your rights but also ensures your interests are protected and the matter is timely addressed.

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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law
520 Warren Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone: 650-381-9591
Fax: 650-261-9650
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