If an Orange County, California, software consultant is successful with his ballot initiative, alimony awards in divorce could become a thing of the past. The Secretary of State has given the go-ahead for backers of the initiative to begin gathering the 365,880 valid signatures required for the initiative to appear on the November 2016 ballot.
When couples in California divorce, the issue of alimony is often a significant consideration. Traditionally, men have assumed responsibility for paying alimony to a former spouse. Despite an increased influx of women into the workforce, spousal support is still typically paid by men to women, not the other way around.
If you are contemplating a divorce, spousal support may very well be an issue in your case. Whether you are the person who is seeking needed support or the one that may end up being ordered to pay, you most likely have questions regarding how the issue will be decided. Judges rely on formulas to hand down spousal support orders, and unfortunately, the resulting orders do not always reflect the situations of the people who are subject to them.
California residents might be interested to learn about a high asset divorce involving Walmart heiress Paige Laurie. After being married to her husband for six years, Laurie filed for divorce in March 2014. Eleven months after the papers were filed, reports came out that Laurie's husband was seeking spousal support from her. According to a report from TMZ, Laurie's husband is asking for $400,000 a month in alimony. He reportedly has several expenses that necessitate the monthly sum such as rent that costs between $40,000 and $60,000 and entertainment expenses that cost $80,000 a month. He also needs $6,700 a month to continue paying his personal chef and $2,500 for his personal trainer. Also included in the man's request is $2,500 per month for charitable donations.
Under a number of different circumstances, judges in California will modify or end spousal support orders, but ex-spouses need to go through an extensive legal process to ensure that the changes become official through the court system. Even if ex-spouses can agree on a modified amount of alimony, they will still want to have legal papers drawn up and have a judge sign them instead of just relying on an oral or informal written agreement.
California couples who are contemplating divorce may wish to learn about spousal support. Generally, an individual who earns more money is required to pay support to a former partner. This may be done to allow the dependent former spouse to pursue education or training they lack due to a decision to forego a career and care for children or the marital home. An alternative reason is to allow the spouse to maintain his or her standard of living.
Californians who have been ordered to pay spousal support to their ex-spouses must comply with their court order until it is modified or withdrawn. Failure to make spousal support payments on time can result in accumulated interest, wage garnishment and even jail time.
In some situations, circumstances change in a manner significant enough to necessitate a change in a previously-issued spousal support order in California divorce cases. In some situations, a party's income may have significantly changed. In others, a former spouse who is receiving support payments may have remarried or no longer needs the support for other reasons. In still other cases, the party receiving payments may have not made any efforts towards becoming self-supporting.
Spouses who are going through a divorce do not necessarily have to go to court to fight over whether one of them deserves spousal support and how much. In California, the spouses have the option to negotiate and sign a support agreement and have a judge review it to ensure that it is fair. The preparation of such an agreement can be done with the help of a court facilitator if the parties so desire. This facilitator may explain how spousal support works and what each spouse's rights are. Looking at Form FL-157, which is a declaration attachment, gives spouses an understanding of the factors that a judge considers in a spousal support decision.
When a couple dissolves a marriage, one spouse may be ordered to pay the other spousal support or alimony. The judge uses specific factors to determine if a spouse is eligible for alimony and the monetary amount that is awarded.