Spousal Support

Finding the right amount of support to match your need.

Spousal Support Attorneys Santa Rosa, CA | Sonoma County

Spousal Support

Spousal support will only be considered after a family’s children have been adequately provided for and will be based on finances of the parties after child support has been determined.

To be entitled to spousal support, it must be requested in the initial papers that are filed with the court, either the petition and/or response. Spousal support is not favored when the marriage is very short or where there are no children.

As general rule of thumb, when when a marriage lasts less than 10 years, a spouse may expect to pay or receive spousal support for about half the length of the marriage.

Depending on your unique situation, however, spousal support for a longer or shorter period of time may be warranted. In fact, for marriages of less than 10 years, there may be situations where no spousal support is needed or required.

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Indefinite Spousal Support

For longer marriages, the duration of support may be longer than the previously mentioned rule of thumb. While in rare cases spousal support can be a long financial burden, California does not favor indefinite support.

A recent appellate court stated the following:

As recognized by the California Supreme Court the public policy of this state has progressed from one which entitled some women to lifelong alimony as a condition of the marital contract of support, to one that entitles either spouse to post-dissolution support for only so long as is necessary to become self-supporting.

It is critical to note, however, that unless both parties agree on a termination date, spousal support does not automatically reduce over time or get eliminated.

It is up to the party paying spousal support to file a request with the court to reduce and or eventually eliminate spousal support.

Modifying Spousal Support

If you believe you are currently paying too much in spousal support or not receiving your fare share, you need the assistance of an experienced attorney.

In addition to increasing spousal support, there are strategies to get your spouse or ex-spouse back to work to reduce or eliminate your spousal support obligation. Often, when circumstances change over time, your spousal support agreement also needs to change.

Increasing or decreasing spousal support is not automatic and the court is very limited on making changes retroactive. The longer you wait to assert your rights the more money you will lose.

At Vonder Haar Law, we’ll make every effort to help you understand the process and guide you through each step to help achieve your objectives.

Having an experienced and reliable attorney is an important part of a successful negotiation process. We welcome inquiries and look forward to speaking with you.

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