When many Californians divorce, alimony payments are ordered in their cases. Judges determine whether or not to order alimony in particular cases based on the circumstances of the spouses and their marriages.

Some of the factors judges consider include the standard of living during the marriage, the incomes of each spouse, the duration of the marriage, the ages of the spouses and the likelihood the lower-earning spouse would be able to get education necessary to enter the workforce. Alimony that is ordered based on these factors may last for a few years or even indefinitely.

When alimony is likely to be ordered in a case, the spouse who will pay may be able to negotiate the amount of the payments and how long they will be paid to their spouse. Negotiating an agreement may help them to avoid getting an order to pay alimony indefinitely. Another possibility is trying to negotiate giving the other spouse a larger portion of different assets in exchange for an agreement that their spouse will expressly waive their right to alimony.

While some spouses who stand to receive alimony find the idea distasteful, they may want to wait before simply waiving their rights to it. Sometimes, people don’t want to have ongoing ties to their ex-spouses. However, using their right to alimony as a negotiating point may help them to get a larger percentage of the marital assets in exchange. People who believe that alimony will be at issue in their own cases may benefit by consulting with a family law attorney. An attorney may advise their client on the best tactic to take. They may then work hard to negotiate a settlement agreement that protects their client’s interests and that resolves all outstanding issues to avoid the expense of extended litigation through court.