Debra A. Opri
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Divorce & Family Law - California
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When love fades into the past, alimony might be in your future

People come to California looking for many things. Years ago, they came looking for gold. Many have come looking for work, and some seek nothing more than good weather and righteous waves. Of course, for many, it's a quest for fame and fortune. And, whether they came for it or not, many men and women find love in the Golden State.

All of the goals listed above can be elusive, and even when found, one may not always easily hold on to them. If the love you found seems to have slipped away from you, you might be worried about what the future will bring. After devoting yourself whole-heartedly to your marriage and your spouse's career, what means of support will you have when it is over and done?

Considerations for alimony

When two spouses divorce in California, either spouse could be entitled to spousal support, or alimony. The purpose is to reduce the financial disparity between the two parties. Such disparities are common when one party has no income, or has a very limited income, as is often the case in a high-asset marriage.

Though your financial contributions to the marriage may have been limited, that does not mean you should not expect to continue living very much as you have been. However, before awarding alimony, a judge will look at some or all of the following factors: 

  • Your age, health and finances, as well as those of your spouse
  • Each spouse's ability and potential to earn an income
  • What your accustomed standard of living is
  • How long you were married
  • How well you could support yourself without alimony

The amount and type of alimony awarded by a judge will vary, depending on the above criteria. 

Types of alimony in California

Alimony is not always a monthly stipend paid in perpetuity, known as "permanent alimony," though that is a possibility in some cases. Other kinds of alimony seen in California are:

  • Rehabilitative – paid until the recipient is self-sufficient
  • Lump-sum – sometimes paid in place of a property settlement
  • Reimbursement – payments to help cover a spouse's expenses, such as training fees or tuition

How to find what you're looking for after a divorce

After years of focusing on your marriage and your spouse, now it is time to focus on yourself. It is important to chase after the things that matter to you, and to make sure you are secure and provided for when the dust settles after your divorce. Alimony is a key part of that security.

In order to have the best chance at a satisfactory alimony award, it will be necessary to stand up for your rights, and present your case clearly and eloquently. This is not a task to leave to just anybody. Your best choice may be to entrust your future to a person who has a history of successful settlements in California. A skilled and passionate advocate for your rights will not rest until your needs are met.

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