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Riverside Attorney Helping People Protect Their Interests in Divorce Actions
Many married couples earn disparate incomes, and the higher-earning spouse will often contribute more towards the couple’s joint living expenses. If a couple with unequal earnings decides to end their marriage, the lesser-earning spouse may have concerns about their ability to sustain their lifestyle. In such cases, the courts often order the higher-earning spouse to pay spousal support. Spousal support awards affect both parties, and it is critical that anyone considering a divorce speak to an attorney about their rights. Riverside divorce attorney Tashfeen Haq of Haq Law Firm, PC, has ample experience helping people protect their financial interests in divorce proceedings, and if you or your spouse intend to end your marriage, he can help you pursue the best legal outcome available. Mr. Haq regularly represents people in divorce matters and other family law issues in Riverside and San Bernadino.
Types of Spousal Support Available
In California, the courts can order parties to pay temporary or permanent spousal support. Temporary spousal support is sought and paid while the divorce is pending; its goal is to help the receiving spouse meet their needs until the divorce is final. Permanent spousal support is paid after the court issues the judgment of divorce and aims to allow the receiving party to uphold the standard of living they appreciated while they were married.
Factors California Courts Consider When Ordering Spousal Support
California does not have set guidelines for determining permanent spousal support obligations. As such, absent a valid prenuptial or marital between the parties creating an obligation to pay spousal support, the courts will evaluate the factors outlined in Family Law Code Section 4320 to assess whether spousal support is appropriate.
Such factors include each party’s earning capacity, the duration of the marriage, each party’s needs in consideration of the standard of living developed marriage, and the health and age of the parties. The courts will also consider whether each party’s assets and obligations, including separate property, the ability of the supporting spouse to pay support, whether there is a documented history of domestic violence, and other factors.
The courts also rely on Family Law Code Section 4320 to calculate the appropriate permanent spousal support award. The courts may use DissoMaster, a computer program, to calculate temporary spousal support obligations, but are not required to do so; however, DissoMaster cannot be used to calculate permanent spousal support obligations.
In assessing whether to grant spousal support, a court may conduct an evidentiary hearing or trial to evaluate evidence regarding the parties’ financial status. Such evidence may include the parties’ financial records, tax returns, employment records, and health records if their health is at issue.
Modification of Spousal Support Orders
Absent a provision in a support order expressly dictating otherwise, California law permits either party subject to a support order to seek a modification. Generally, the Courts will only grant a request for an amendment of a permanent spousal support award when the party asking for the adjustment proves there has been a significant change in circumstances. Situations that may constitute grounds for modifying a permanent spousal support award include a notable increase or decrease in either party’s assets or income, a change in either party’s physical or mental health, and a change in either party’s employment.
Meet with an Experienced Riverside Divorce Attorney to Discuss Your Case
Although parties will often request spousal support in divorce actions, the courts will only grant such requests if they find it appropriate after considering numerous factors. If you foresee you or your spouse filing a divorce action, it is smart to meet with an attorney to discuss how the dissolution of your marriage may impact you financially. Tashfeen Haq of Haq Law Firm, PC, is an experienced Riverside attorney who possesses the skills and resources needed to help people obtain favorable results in divorce actions, and if you hire him, he will help you navigate the legal and financial complexities of divorce. Our office is conveniently located in Riverside, and we regularly represent people in divorce matters in Riverside, San Bernadino, Corona, and other cities throughout Southern California. You can reach our firm by calling us at (909) 234-9789 or by using our online form to set up a confidential and free consultation to discuss your case.