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When can the court deny alimony?

Alimony is meant to give one party to a divorce financial stability while they secure their own financial resources to support the lifestyle they enjoyed while married. There are a number of factors a family law court will look at when determining whether spousal support is appropriate and, if so, how much should be paid. Yet, there are instances where one party will request alimony that is unwarranted. In these circumstances, Californians need to be prepared with strong legal arguments to support their position.

There are a number of situations in which a request for spousal support will be denied. For example, under California law, alimony will not be awarded to a party if they have acquired a separate estate that is sufficient to support them. Therefore, when looking at an alimony request, the court will consider each party’s assets, liabilities, and income. Additionally, a court may choose to forego ordering spousal support if the requesting party is cohabiting with another individual. Of course, in the event that alimony has already been ordered, then these facts, if they exist, may justify a request for modification.

There are other circumstances that may prevent a party from obtaining spousal support. California law says that a court cannot order alimony to a former spouse who was convicted of a felony for either a sex crime or domestic violence against the other spouse. In order for this preclusion to apply, however, the petition for divorce must be filed within five years of the conviction.

Those who are facing a divorce have a lot of emotional and legal decisions to confront. These individuals need to carefully develop their legal strategies, as these will, for the most part, dictate the outcome of their divorce case.

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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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