Spousal Support

Secure the Alimony You Need

If you are negotiating your divorce or you are simply contemplating divorce, you need an ally on your side with extensive experience in the California family law courts. Your legal challenges may be related to:

  • Temporary spousal support
  • Permanent spousal support
  • Motions to modify spousal support based on changed circumstances
  • Enforcement of alimony payments
Understanding Alimony Awards

Spousal support, or alimony, can be divided into two “phases” during a divorce proceeding. The first phase is commonly referred to as temporary spousal support. It is called “temporary” as it is intended to maintain the status quo while the divorce is proceeding to a conclusion. Family Courts will utilize state or county guidelines to determine the appropriate amount of temporary spousal support. This is accomplished by the use of approved computer software.

The second phase of the spousal support is the spousal support ordered as part of the judgment of dissolution of marriage. These awards cannot be based upon computer software. The Family Court must hear evidence from both parties and typically from experts to determine the appropriate amount of spousal support. The Family Court must consider different factors, such as:

  • Receiving spouse's education, health, work history and earning potential
  • Length of the marriage
  • Paying spouse's income, earning potential and health
  • Existence and enforceability of a prenuptial agreement
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Age and health of the parties
Taxation Issues and Spousal Support

Alimony is normally tax-deductible to the paying party and represents taxable income to the receiving party. By structuring your overall divorce settlement carefully, it may be possible to distribute property in lieu of spousal support in order to reduce the receiving party's tax liability. In other words, a relatively low spousal support award can sometimes work to the receiving party's advantage, if the property division is structured properly.

Spousal Support Modifications

After final judgment is entered circumstances may change that warrant a modification of spousal support. Examples of such changed circumstances are:

  • Failure of the receiving spouse to take steps to become self-sufficient
  • Reduction of income of the paying spouse
  • Cohabitation by the receiving spouse
  • Retirement of the paying spouse

Evidence of these factors will be considered by the Family Court in your request to modify spousal support. Knowing how to present this evidence is critical.

San Jose Spousal Support Lawyer

The legal understanding, negotiating skills, and courtroom experience of your divorce lawyer can make a critical difference in whether you receive spousal support or avoid paying support and in the amount of support paid or received. For advice and skillful representation on spousal support issues, talk with an experienced San Jose spousal support attorney. Whether you expect to receive or pay alimony, contact my San Jose law office for sophisticated spousal support advice from an experienced Santa Clara alimony lawyer.

Contact the Law Office of John S. Yohanan to discuss your divorce and all related family law issues including those related to alimony, child support and property division. For more than 30 years, Mr. Yohanan has been representing people throughout Santa Clara County in all areas of family law. If you need an experienced lawyer on your side, call 408-297-0700. His law firm has access to financial experts, private investigators and other specialists who can give you a significant advantage in the assertion and protection of spousal support claims.