Creating an Alimony Arrangement That Works

Jul 9, 2021 Divorce

Once you’ve made the decision to divorce, a whole host of decisions will need to be made. From deciding who will keep the house, the kids, and figuring out how to divide your property and assets, the decision to divorce can seem like the only “easy” choice you’ve made.

The question of spousal support, or alimony, will also come into play. Alimony was designed to ensure that the spouse who earns far less than the other can maintain their lifestyle after the split. However, exactly what that means can be left to interpretation. That said, hiring an Irvine spousal support attorney is a smart move if you want to ensure your lifestyle remains as intact as much as possible.

There are various factors that will go into how much alimony you’re awarded. Below, we discuss a few that you should keep in mind.

The Length of Your Marriage

A general rule of thumb in California divorces is that spousal support will last for half the length of a marriage that was less than 10 years in length. Longer marriages, however, will usually not put a limit on the amount of time that alimony will be given to the other spouse. Instead, when one spouse wants to present information that the other spouse no longer needs support, that spouse will be required to go back to court and argue that claim in front of a judge. 

Within alimony discussions, there are two types of support: Temporary support, which covers a spouse’s alimony during the duration of the divorce proceedings and before the specifics of their long-term support payments are finalized; and long-term support, which is the final agreement approved by the court that gives the spouse with less income the right to receive alimony over an extended period of time. This agreement, as mentioned, can only be altered when the spouse with the higher income proves that the other spouse no longer needs as much support, either because they have a job or another source of income.

Lump Sum or Periodic Payments

Deciding whether to give your spouse a lump sum buyout or make periodic payments can be a difficult choice. On the one hand, a lump sum buyout means you’ll be done with your spouse for good; alternatively, you may end up paying far more than you would have had you gone with periodic payments. If left to the courts, they typically opt for periodic payments; however, you are free to decide to make a lump sum payment if that’s preferred. You can also use a lump sum payment to obtain something else you want. For example, you can keep the house in exchange for a larger share of the liquid assets, art collection, or some other valuable piece of your wealth. 

An Irvine Spousal Support Attorney Can Help

Arguing for what you want out of your alimony agreement will likely be the most contentious phase of your divorce. You’re going to want an experienced negotiator on your side for this process, and hiring an Irvine spousal support attorney you trust is imperative to your success. Contact our offices today.