How does someone pay alimony in California?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2021 | Alimony |

If you are approaching divorce for the first time in California, you likely have questions concerning alimony. Just how will your spouse pay you? Does the state require your spouse to pay you in a certain way? Fortunately, the state provides guidelines for courts to follow when it comes to spousal support. 

Cases that involve spousal support can vary. Not every divorced spouse will receive alimony in the same way. Still, because of state guidelines for spousal support cases, you may know what to anticipate going forward. 

Paying by earnings assignment

As the California Courts website explains, in cases when a judge orders spousal or partner support, the court will order the creation of an earnings assignment. An earnings assignment can apply to both alimony and child support. 

An earning assignment requires an employer to withhold a portion of the paying parent’s wages. The employer has ten days to begin drawing money from the parent’s paycheck. The employer will then send the money to you directly. However, if the assignment is for child support, the money must go to the California State Disbursement Unit first before you receive it. 

Paying by spousal agreement

You and your spouse may feel there is a better way to arrange spousal support. If so, you may work out an agreement between the two of you for your spouse to pay you directly or through some other means. 

To implement your agreement, you must ask the court to put an earnings assignment on hold so that it does not go into effect. If a court agrees to stay the assignment, you and your spouse can proceed with your own arrangement for spousal support. If your agreement falls apart, you can appeal to the court later on to reassert an earnings assignment for your alimony.