Alimony Attorney in Orange County, CA, Protecting Our Clients During Divorce
While the number of divorces has dropped in recent years—likely due to fewer marriages—there are still more than half a million divorces in America yearly. In a perfect world, everyone would be able to go back to their normal lives. Unfortunately, this is very rarely the case. In fact, California courts will often require one individual to make spousal support payments to ensure an equitable divorce. This is where an alimony attorney in Orange County, CA can help.
At the Law Office of Patrick O’Kennedy, you’ll find experienced legal professionals ready to help you. Paying spousal support in California is often a requirement, but even legal guidelines aren’t the be-all and end-all. You need an alimony attorney on your side who’s willing to work for your best interests. Not only will this help ensure you get a fair divorce settlement, but you’ll also have the option to request a modification of support in some instances.
What is Alimony in California?
Alimony—also known as spousal support—is a payment that one individual must make to another following a divorce. California often requires such payment to ensure one spouse isn’t unfairly burdened following a divorce. For instance, one individual may have chosen to stay home with the children while the other worked. It can be difficult to get back into the job market after this, so courts may require the higher-earning partner to pay alimony.
Courts have guidelines they frequently follow when issuing orders of alimony payments in California. However, it’s important to realize that they’re not bound by these guidelines. Judges and juries can consider unique circumstances that may warrant either higher or lower payments. This is why you should reach out to an alimony lawyer in Orange County. An experienced attorney can help argue a case for your benefit.
What Types of Alimony Payments May a Court Order?
There are two types of spousal support payments that a California court may order. This will depend on the timing of the order. There are both temporary and permanent alimony payments that the court may require. Understanding these is absolutely essential if you hope to get a fair outcome:
- Temporary support: As soon as a divorce is filed, the courts will typically issue an order of support for the lower-earning spouse. This is to ensure a standard of living is maintained throughout the divorce proceedings. It becomes null once a permanent order is issued.
- Permanent support: At the conclusion of divorce proceedings, the court will issue a permanent support order. This post-divorce judgment is decided by considering 14 factors, and while it’s not always permanent, there are situations where the order is indefinite.
The length of a permanent spousal support order can vary drastically. It’s meant to ensure a lower-earning spouse can maintain their lifestyle and afford basic needs, but California typically expects individuals to become self-sufficient over time. In instances where marriages last less than 10 years, these orders typically last half the length of the marriage. For marriages longer than 10 years, the payments may never end.
Regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on, an alimony attorney in Orange County, CA can help you seek the best outcome.
Can Alimony Payments Be Modified?
It’s possible to argue in court that alimony payment guidelines are not appropriate in your situation. This could result in a judge or jury ignoring current guidelines when issuing their order. However, what happens after an order has been issued? Can alimony payments be modified? California courts do allow such modifications, but only in certain situations. These include:
- The lower-earning spouse isn’t working towards becoming self-supporting
- The spouse receiving payments gets married or otherwise no longer need payments
- The spouse paying alimony experiences a significant decrease in income
- The paying spouse is incarcerated
- Either spouse misrepresented their income or assets that might affect alimony
In any of these situations, California courts may reconsider spousal support. It’s up to the individual requesting a modification—whether they want increased or reduced payments—to present evidence justifying the request. An Orange County spousal support attorney can help you present the facts of your case when seeking a modification or the enforcement order.
Do I Need an Orange County Alimony Attorney?
There’s no requirement that you have a Orange County family law attorney represent you in any legal matter. This is true whether you’re suing the neighbor after suffering a dog bite or going up against an international corporation for dangerous products. Regardless of the issue you’re up against, though, having legal representation is ideal. Statistics consistently show that individuals with lawyers fair better in settlement negotiations and during litigation.
The simple fact is that most people don’t understand their rights regarding spousal support. Without an Orange County alimony attorney, will you know what factors the court considers? Could your pre-marital property come into play? Do you know the situations that negate the use of spousal support guidelines? For most individuals, the answer to these questions is “no.” With legal representation, you’ll have a better understanding of your rights and how to move forward.
Contact an Alimony Lawyer in Orange County, CA Today
Even when two people decide to remain amicable, divorce is never an easy thing. When you’re in the middle of such a situation, though, it’s important to understand how California divorce law works. The courts will try to make the separation as equitable as possible, and at times, this means one person will have to make spousal support payments to the other. The underlying laws of alimony can be quite complex, though, so it’s important to seek legal representation.
At the Law Office of Patrick O’Kennedy, you’ll work with an experienced alimony lawyer in Orange County, CA, who’s ready to fight for your rights. Patrick has helped clients on both sides of the aisle, so whether you have to pay alimony or deserve spousal support payments, he can help you reach a beneficial outcome. Contact us today by calling (714) 919-1855 for a free consultation. We’re ready to help you get through this trying time.