Stressed father looking at spousal support amount with baby in lap

California Alimony

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is supposed to be gender-neutral, but do you suspect that’s not what’s happening in your case?

Even in progressive California, unconscious bias about men’s role as breadwinners can end up putting financial handcuffs on their futures.

At The Dadvocates law firm, we work to make sure equality extends to men when courts weigh in on spousal support.

Are You Getting Divorced? Talk to a Firm that Represents Men

Our name says it all. We're The Dadvocates. We work to erase the gender bias that drains money out of your wallet in alimony proceedings. Our California headquarters are in Los Angeles, and we have lawyers throughout California. In addition, our alimony lawyers can meet with you anywhere using virtual technology. Leave us a message or call to schedule a consultation.

What Is Alimony?

Alimony is the financial support that one partner supplies the other after a marriage falls apart. Generally, the higher-earning party pays the lower-earning party for a set period. In California, the legal term for these payments is spousal support. Payments can start before the divorce is final in the form of temporary spousal support and can also be ordered in connection with domestic violence cases.

In California, the goal is that both parties are self-supporting within a reasonable period. Alimony payments are structured so that the lesser-earning spouse has the resources they need to cover their cost of living.

Monthly payments are typical, but California has other options, as well, such as lump-sum payments. Our lawyers will explain your choices so you can pursue a payment method more advantageous to your financial or tax needs.

Is Spousal Support a Given?

No. The law does not assume that spousal support is required. Instead, a spouse must request alimony during the court proceedings. A judge will then take into account the requirements set forth in California family law to decide how much and how long support will be required. Couples can also negotiate spousal support between themselves; however, a judge will still need to approve the final agreement.

Judge signing papers

Men Can Receive Alimony But Many Won't Ask for It

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Just 3% of men sought spousal support, according to a 2014 Forbes article. And yet a 2017 Pew Research Center study shows that 31% of women who were married or cohabitating earned at least half of the couple's earnings.

What Factors Affect the Payment Amount?

California has a detailed list of factors judges must weigh when calculating the support order. Temporary support can vary depending on what county you are in. However, for support after the divorce is finalized, judges must use the factors listed in the California Family Code Section 4320.

Fourteen factors are listed in the code, including this all-encompassing entry: "Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable." Clearly, the judges have considerable leeway when setting alimony payments.

This is where The Dadvocates step in. Men have historically been disadvantaged in family court. Our alimony attorneys move early to educate the court about the realities in your case and point out the nuances that strengthen your position.

We're a Specialized Practice

The Dadvocates is a team of highly specialized attorneys who focus on men’s issues.

Spousal Support Calculations Are Complicated You Need a Savvy Advocate

Spousal support is complicated. Layer on assumptions about men's roles and it's clear you need an alimony attorney that understands your legal situation and the unconscious bias you may face. The attorneys at The Dadvocates will gather the documents and data to clearly outline your position to the family law judge deciding your financial future. Among the key elements that will help clarify your strategy:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The impact of child support
  • The pros and cons of ongoing or lump-sum spousal support
  • Tax implications
  • Requirements that the supported party make reasonable efforts to become self-supporting

There are a lot of issues to resolve as you work through your divorce. Our spousal support attorneys provide clear explanations so you won't get overwhelmed balancing conflicting demands. We recommend getting legal advice early since temporary support orders can start taking money from your wallet before your divorce is finalized. Our family law firm works to protect your assets.

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The goal of our lawyers is to educate the court about the true facts of your case and prevent the other party from using sexist stereotypes to win.

A Closer Look at Factors That Affect Alimony Payments Factors in the California Code

  • The length of the marriage or domestic partnership
  • What each person needs based on the standard of living they had during the marriage or domestic partnership
  • What each person pays or can pay (including earnings and earning capacity) to maintain that standard of living after the divorce
  • The difficulties the supported partner will face if working and taking care of children
  • The age and health of both people
  • Debts and property
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Whether a spouse or domestic partner helped the other get an education, training, career, or professional license
  • Whether there was domestic violence
  • Whether a spouse's or domestic partner’s earning capacity was affected by periods of unemployment due to childcare or other domestic needs
  • The tax impact of spousal support on each party

Our Family Law Mission

Our family law mission is to make sure that every man facing divorce or separation has equal access to his children and that he has enough financial integrity left after the case is finalized to live with honor and dignity.

Modifying Spousal Support Either Spouse Can Ask for a Change

Spousal support payments are not set in stone. Unless a termination date was written in the original orders or there was an agreement not to modify the support terms, either party can ask the court to adjust the amount due to changes in financial circumstances.

Experience a Change in Fortunes?

Situations change and the courts recognize that. Some people get promotions that improve their financial outlook, while others may lose their job or face financial hardship. If you're a man who lost his job or your former spouse lands a plum position with a boost in pay, our family law attorneys can advocate for a change in the payment schedule.

What Happens When Child Support Ends?

Child support, which typically ends when a child reaches 18, is calculated separately from alimony, but the two are closely related. Often when spousal support was calculated, the amount was reduced due to the smaller pool of funds left over after child support was set. With those payments ended, more money may now be available for spousal support.

What Happened To Becoming Self-Sufficient?

If the supported spouse isn't making efforts to become self-supporting, you may have cause to seek a modification to the support order. You may also be able to request a change if the supported spouse is cohabitating with a partner. The court will use the same factors it used in making the initial support order to decide if modification or termination is warranted.

We Protect Your Assets Request a Consultation

Unfortunately, the financial fallout of divorce lasts long after you leave the courtroom. It's not unusual to find yourself back in court fighting to keep your wallet intact after a support modification is sought.

The family law attorneys at The Dadvocates are acutely aware of the gender bias men face in the courtroom and have successfully worked with men in multiple states facing similar circumstances. We know how to make sure equality before the law isn't just a catchy phrase.

All our attorneys are trained in our litigation-focused methodology for optimum outcomes. In a nutshell, this means our lawyers are open to reasonable negotiations but ready for trial if that's what it takes to get a fair settlement.

Our attorneys have fought for men's rights for years and understand the obstacles you face. We also know how to overcome them. We can get started on your case right away. Leave a message or call to request a consultation.

(818) 824-5800

We’re as Close as Your Phone

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The Dadvocates has its California headquarters in Los Angeles and attorneys across the state. Our online conferencing capabilities mean that no matter where you are, we're as close as your computer.

Ready To Go to Trial

We are here to ensure you can achieve the best possible outcome for your case. To do so, our compassionate lawyers develop cases that are trial-ready.
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The Dadvocates

The Dadvocates are the only lawyers exclusively focused on protecting the rights of fathers. Our attorneys have received awards and prestigious recognitions from Super Lawyers, Avvo, and the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys. We assist dads in a variety of legal matters, including:

You can request a consultation with our firm by filling out our online form or calling (720) 749-2876.

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