There are two types of support that may be awarded by the court. One is child support. Under California law, every parent has a duty to financially support his or her child. The other type is spousal support (sometimes referred to as “alimony”). Spousal support is not mandated by law but is ordered by the court under certain circumstances.
Every parent has a duty under the law to financially support his or her minor children. This is true whether or not the parent has physical custody of the children. When parents are no longer living together and parenting as a single unit, it is often wise to seek a court order dictating how much each parent should contribute on a monthly basis for the support of the children’s care and upbringing.
A child support order can be obtained in a couple of ways. One way is to write up an agreement with the other parent and submit it to the court to be approved and signed into a court order. Another way is to ask the judge to determine the child support amount after each parent submits evidence of income, expenses, employment and so forth.
The California Family Code provides guidelines that a court will use to determine the appropriate amount of child support. If you choose this route, be sure to complete all required forms properly and notify the court of all pertinent information.
If you have questions about child support, contact ustoday. We can advise and assist you with completing required forms, computing support calculations, preparing a request for order for support or modification of support, and more.
Spousal support (sometimes called “alimony” outside of court) may be an option in the divorce process. Spousal support is not mandatory but is available when one spouse does not have the financial means to support him- or herself immediately following a divorce or separation. For instance, if one spouse has stayed home to raise the children or benefit the “community” (family or marriage) in some other way, she may find it difficult or impossible to immediately procure income to cover the costs of a separate household.
If a court orders spousal support to be paid to one party in a divorce or legal separation proceeding, the support will not last indefinitely. Even “permanent” support orders are designed to end when the supported spouse has had sufficient time to re-enter the work force and is capable of earning enough income to be self-supporting or remarries.
The court is required to consider several factors when making an order for spousal support; these include the length of the marriage, each party’s earning capacity, and the balance of hardships of each party.
To learn more about spousal support and whether it is appropriate in your case, contact us today.
TEMPORARY ORDER FOR SUPPORT
Often the divorce process takes several months, if not years, to complete. (By operation of law, any couple seeking a divorce must wait a minimum of 6 months for the dissolution to be final.) During this intervening time, one spouse may need the financial assistance from the other spouse. Not surprisingly, parties often disagree on what that amount should be. The Family Code provides a way for a spouse to request a temporary order of support (child and/or spousal) once the divorce process has begun. Requesting the appropriate amount is very important because judges often look at the temporary support order as a reference point for awarding the “permanent” order.
We can assist you in requesting a hearing and order for temporary support. Contact us today.