Effective Representation in California Spousal Support Matters

Because spousal support is granted at the discretion of a judge, the quality of your legal counsel can make all the difference. The Mack Law Offices in Palm Desert, California, provides experienced representation in the determination or modification of spousal support.

Barry Mack has practiced in family law since 1976, including 10 years as a commissioner in the Riverside County Superior Court. He represents men or women in divorce proceedings, serving clients throughout the Coachella Valley and the High Desert. In a confidential consultation, Mr. Mack can give you a former commissioner's perspective on whether spousal support will apply in your case. Call 760-346-1800.

Determination of Spousal Support

There are two types of spousal support in California:

  • Temporary spousal support may be awarded to one party while the divorce case is pending. The amount is determined by way of the same state formula used to calculate child support. Temporary spousal support continues until a divorce settlement is reached or a divorce trial is concluded.
  • Permanent or indefinite spousal support is determined (a) by a judge if the matter goes to trial, or (b) through negotiation. Mr. Mack's background enables him to anticipate how the court would rule to guide clients in settling alimony out of court.

If contested, in determining the amount of spousal support the court may consider numerous factors, including, but not limited to, incomes, education and earning capacity, age, health, and whether the spouse has been out of the workforce (including sacrificing career advancement to raise children).

For shorter marriages (fewer than 10 years), spousal support may not be awarded or may be limited to half the length of the marriage. An important California case resulted in the " Gavron warning," which declares that a spouse must become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time.

However, in longer marriages (10 years or more), the court is prohibited from issuing a cut-off order unless the paying party can demonstrate that the ex-spouse is no longer dependent on support because of employment, remarriage, or co-habitation. Mr. Mack can investigate and gather relevant supporting evidence to assist the court in making a proper spousal support determination. Spousal support is automatically terminated if either spouse dies.

Barry Mack can advise if spousal support is likely in your case, and whether you should negotiate or litigate. Contact him at 760-346-1800 to arrange a confidential consultation.

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