When we discuss the basics of alimony on this blog, we often talk about it as though alimony is always ordered by a court. In theory, this is how alimony is handled under California law. In practice however, an alimony order usually has its origins in an agreement signed by the parties as part of their divorce settlement.
Much like finances play an important role in getting married, finances also play a major role during the dissolution of a marriage. Regardless if a marriage was short or lasted several decades, there are many monetary decisions for couples in Redwood City to make. And for those finding post-divorce life financially challenging, it may be appropriate to seek spousal support.
Sometimes, after decades of marriage, a couple in California will decide for one reason or another that their union isn't working, and they are best off divorcing. However, this could lead some couples to experience a significant amount of financial disparity, especially if one spouse had stayed out of the workforce to care for the family. In situations like this, one spouse may want to seek permanent or long-term spousal support.
When a couple in California divorces, one party may be ordered to pay spousal support to the other party. Also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance, spousal support is meant to put the receiving party on an even financial standing with the paying party, until the receiving party can become financially self-sufficient.
California couples maintain a vast array of marital living situations. Some choose to live in large, expensive homes while others find peace in a reasonable rent apartment. In some marriages one spouse works while the other stays home to take care of the children. In others, both spouses may work high demand jobs with substantial salaries. Regardless of living arrangements, in the event of a divorce, a Judge will take it all into consideration when the topic of alimony arises.
Many California residents understand the purpose of child support after a divorce, as it is needed to make sure a child continues to have a stable life post-divorce. However, alimony is a much harder pill to swallow, as it is often used to help support adults who can seemingly take care of themselves. In reality, many divorced men and women truly need alimony to stay afloat financially in the months and years following their divorce.
Alimony issues can become one of the most contentious issues in the divorce process, no matter how well you and your soon-to-be ex get along. Generally, alimony or 'spousal support' refers to the money a higher-earning spouse will pay to the lower-earning spouse as part of a couple's divorce agreement.
Determining alimony or spousal support can be a critical part of the divorce process for many California couples. Attorney Joseph R. Zoucha understands the importance of alimony and how it can help a newly divorced person get back on their feet financially. He has over 30 years of experience handling divorce cases involving alimony, child support and other common divorce issues.
One of the most highly contested issues in a divorce is spousal support, or the amount one spouse has to pay the other spouse each month, post-split. In many cases, lesser-earning spouses and spouses who did not work outside of the home during the marriage are entitled to spousal support or alimony. Spousal support helps them maintain the standard of living they grew accustomed to while they were married.
In an earlier post, we discussed how the new tax code will affect alimony nationwide. Alimony has always been difficult to determine, but according to some experts, the new tax code will likely make things even more difficult. In the past, each state had its own rules to determine alimony, but no matter where you were, the payer could deduct alimony on their taxes while the payee would pay income tax on it. However, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, alimony will no longer be deductible for payers after Dec. 31, 2018. That means that people receiving alimony will no longer have to pay income tax on it.