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Articles Tagged with spousal support modification

Your Guide to Spousal Support in California

Your Guide to Spousal Support in California

Divorce in California can be incredibly stressful and complicated, especially regarding the financial issues involved. The state upholds a strict community property statute that applies to property division, requiring divorcing spouses to evenly divide their marital assets, property, and debts. However, property division may not entirely resolve the financial issues present in a divorce. In some divorces, one spouse will need to pay spousal support, also known as alimony, to the other. Spousal support typically comes into play when one spouse is financially dependent on the other or unable to support themselves financially for other reasons.

If you plan to divorce in California, it’s natural to have concerns about your potential financial obligations to your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Whether you expect to pay or receive spousal support from your divorce, it’s vital to know how spousal support is determined, how long it lasts, and the conditions that would terminate an existing spousal support agreement.

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Potential Benefits of Legal Separation vs. Divorce

Potential Benefits of Legal Separation vs. Divorce

If you and your spouse have been experiencing tension in your marriage, divorce could potentially arise as a possibility for your near future. However, it is vital that you do not make the decision to divorce lightly, nor should you rush into divorce proceedings in the face of marital problems. Divorce is a complex and stressful process. It is likely to pose significant changes to various aspects of your life for the foreseeable future. In some cases, couples need time and space to reevaluate their marriages before moving forward with divorce proceedings.

Legal separation can effectively provide some of the benefits that divorce can offer without the finality of divorce. While many people conflate legal separation and divorce, they are two very different family law procedures. In a divorce, the couple’s marriage contract is terminated, and the couple resolves many issues such as property division, child custody, and spousal support. In a legal separation case, the couple must also address many of the same issues and will ultimately end up with separate living arrangements, but they remain legally married.

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Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Understanding the Differences Between Writs and Appeals

Navigating the court system can be exceedingly difficult for those new to the experience. In particular, many individuals are unfamiliar with the often-prevalent legal jargon—especially when it comes to the complex processes and legal documents this jargon can describe. Fortunately, the average person is not expected to understand each detail of our complex legal system or the nuances within the law. Skilled attorneys exist to demystify the legal system and guide their clients through their court proceedings successfully.

However, it is important to be aware of the most common legal terms, especially those that pertain to your case. To that end, one of the most asked questions our attorneys receive is regarding writs and appeals. These two legal petitions can dramatically affect how a case proceeds and the differences between them can make a major difference in the timeline of a case. Further, some legal proceedings require a writ, while others require appeals.

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Acceptable Grounds for Family Court Order Modification in California

Acceptable-Grounds-for-Family-Court-Order-Modification-in-California

Family law is unique in many ways. Perhaps most notably, the family law system offers a more streamlined alternative to the standard appeal process when an individual accountable to a family court order believes the order to be unreasonable or untenable due to recent events. Family law acknowledges that life is unpredictable. Due to the nature of most family court orders, the terms of an order may not be as reasonable in the future as they are at the time they are signed into effect by a judge.

If you have recently experienced any major life events that have materially influenced your standing family court order, the modification process can allow you to make simple changes that reflect the recent changes in your life. This does not mean you can repeatedly pester the court until they modify your family court order to suit your exact preferences. There are certain conditions that must be satisfied if the court is to approve of any proposed modification.

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Understanding Spousal Support

Understanding-Spousal-Support

Divorce is never an easy process. There are endless factors that can contribute to the ease and difficulty of a legal separation. Many different laws apply when filing and following through with a divorce. One factor to consider when obtaining a divorce in California is the concept of spousal support, which can also be known as alimony. When couples legally separate, the court may order one spouse or partner to pay a certain amount of support money each month. This can be a problematic issue, and it is crucial to find a family law firm that can help you understand support, calculate the amount of support, and help prepare court forms.

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How Is Spousal Support Determined?

How-Is-Spousal-Support-Determined

One aspect of the divorce process that is often misunderstood is spousal support, also referred to as alimony. References to this form of support are often made in the media. Many people wonder why spousal support exists in the first place, beyond a convenient plot device to add drama to an already tense situation. It’s natural for people to be confused about how the courts determine when spousal support is applicable, how much spousal support is owed, and why it’s necessary to have any spousal support at all. Like many other aspects of family law, spousal support has been a part of the system for many years and was created with justice and people’s well-being in mind. That being said, the basic concept of spousal support has certainly undergone several transformations since it was first conceived.

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Attorney fees can be a very important issue in many divorce cases. Most family law litigants in California, and certainly their attorneys, are familiar with Family Code section 2030, which awards attorney fees on a “need and ability” basis. This statute is designed to make sure that each party has equal access to legal representation. This makes perfect sense: as a matter of public policy, we don’t want people prevailing on issues as important as child support and child custody because the prevailing party had an attorney and the losing party did not.

There are, however, many other mechanisms that allow the Court to award attorney fees and/or sanctions, many of which are underutilized. They are discussed below.

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If you are going through or have gone through a divorce in California you’ve probably figured out that the length of marriage becomes very important and can become a hotly contested issue at divorce time. While the length of marriage is relevant for a number of issues in divorce litigation, there is special and controversial significance in relation to spousal support. This is because, under the family code, the future of spousal support may follow a very different course once a marriage hits the 10-year mark, as opposed to a marriage that lasted less than 10 years. This particular magic number comes into play because under the family code, a marriage of 10 years or more is presumed to be a marriage of “long duration” (more commonly referred to as a long-term marriage). (FC 4336)

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