Family Law Blog

Will Adultery Affect Spousal Support in California?

Friday, May 18, 2018

There are many preconceived notions about divorce that we often learn from TV and other media. One of those notions is that if you cheat on your spouse, you are going to pay for it in the divorce. However, while this may be true in some states, it is not necessarily true in California.

California, like many states, is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. This means that nobody is to blame for the divorce no matter what their actions were. What they did will not affect the granting of the divorce or how much you get for it.

However, while a judge cannot take adultery or other bad behavior into consideration when it comes to whether or not to award spousal support, they will look at your financial situation. As an example, let us say that a husband and wife are divorcing because of adultery. The husband actually earns much less than his wife, which makes him eligible for earning spousal support. However, the husband was adulterous and before divorce litigation is over, he moves in with his new mistress. This act will cost him heavily, not because of his sleazy behavior, but because his financial circumstances have changed.

Spousal support is meant to very literally "support" your "spouse" after a divorce. If the husband in the above example earned less but was now supported by his mistress, he may now not be able to collect spousal support because he doesn't actually need any support.

This means if you are considering a divorce in California, the judge might not really care if your spouse cheated on you. However, they will care about the state of everyone's finances. In adultery cases, judges will also highly scrutinize a couple's finances to see if they discover one party is already in another relationship. Often, they suspect that finances may have been moved, hidden, or given as expensive gifts to a new paramour. If you are going through a divorce and need help, contact us today.

What Conditions Allow for Termination of Spousal Support?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Spousal support was designed and put in place to help half of a divorcing couple get back on their feet after a separation. In many marriages, there is one spouse who earns more and one who earns less for a variety of reasons. Perhaps one spouse decided to stay home and care for the children, leaving them without income and work experience in the event of a divorce. However, spousal support is not forever. It has the ability to be modified and even terminated. However, what are the conditions for termination when it comes to spousal support?

Spousal support termination can be achieved through a variety of different conditions. These conditions include:

  • Self-Sufficiency Through Employment - Once the spouse receiving spousal support payments has obtained a job that allows them to be self-supporting, it can be petitioned by the courts to terminate or otherwise modify spousal support. However, even if a spouse is employed doesn't mean they are receiving enough to support themselves fully.
  • Getting Re-Married - Getting re-married is automatic ground for termination when it comes to spousal support. However, never try to game the system by putting off marriage. Courts will agree to termination if you are simply cohabitating with a romantic partner as well.
  • Retirement - If the paying party is ready to retire, they can request that spousal support be terminated or reduced in order to match their lower retirement income. However, the paying party must be retirement age or otherwise unable to work. They cannot retire early for the purpose of eliminating spousal support payments.

If you are seeking to modify spousal support payments or are getting divorced and want spousal support on the table, contact us today. Let the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra help get you the results you desire.

Spouse is Employed, But No Spousal Support is Being Paid

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

After a divorce, spousal support is put in place to help you restart your life. However, while there are exceptions made for spouses that lost their jobs for reasons beyond their control, if your spouse is employed, they should be paying. Perhaps you gave them a little leeway in terms of payment, but what do you do after a few reminders haven't manifested in payment?

 If spousal support payment is not being made, your only most effective option is to return to court, but even then receiving payment is not a guarantee. While your spouse may be employed, sometimes the court will state that they do not have the funds to adhere to their spousal support payment, particularly if there is a substantial amount past due. However, a judge may initiate any of the following to see that payment is followed through.

  • Wage garnishment
  • Offsets of tax returns
  • Garnishment of retirement accounts
  • Spousal support reduced to a money judgment
  • Suspension of passport, driver's license, or professional license until payment is made

If your ex-spouse has the funds in order to be paying their spousal support, all of the above will be used by the court to make sure they pay you what is due. If they have been consciously withholding payment while also having the means to pay it, you may also receive past due payments to help make you whole.

If you are getting divorced or have an ex-spouse that is not making spousal support payments on time, contact us today. Let the Law Firm of Jamra & Jamra help make sure you get the spousal support that you need so you can get back on your feet after a divorce.