Establishing Fair Spousal and Partner Support in Southern California Divorce
Family law attorneys help you reach an equitable settlement
Spousal support is intended to provide the spouse who earns the lower income with financial means of support from the spouse who earns the higher income. Depending on your individual circumstances, the court may order a lump sum or monthly support that is permanent or temporary. The same laws apply when a domestic partnership dissolves. Partnership support refers to the financial obligations and rights of domestic partners.
Founded in 1993, Silverman & Silverman, Attorneys at Law focuses exclusively on family law issues. Our team has extensive training in mediation and collaborative methods of divorce to help you reach equitable settlements. We also have substantial litigation experience to fight for a just support order at trial.
California law governing spousal and partner support
California Family Code §4320-4326 outlines the circumstances under which the court can order a spouse to pay support during divorce proceedings. California Family Code §297 grants domestic partners the same rights and obligations as spouses when dissolving the relationship, including that which pertains to financial support orders.
What the court considers
When deciding whether to grant financial support and how much, a California court considers several factors, including:
- Whether each partner or spouse can sustain the same standard of living established during the relationship
- Each party's marketable skills and the current job market
- The feasibility of getting the necessary education and training to obtain appropriate employment
- The extent that you or your spouse or partner sacrificed income and career advancement to contribute domestic duties to the relationship
- The length of your marriage or domestic partnership
- Whether there is a history of domestic violence
During settlement negotiations, our divorce attorneys in San Deigo consider the same factors to determine what the court is likely to rule. This gives us an accurate starting point from which to propose an equitable agreement. In challenging cases, we consult economists and employment specialists to establish concrete values to present to your spouse and the judge.
Divorce imposes new tax considerations and rules that we take into account during mediation or collaborative sessions. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows the spouse paying support to deduct the amount of spousal support from income and requires the recipient of the support to claim the amount as taxable income. Child support is not deductible or taxable as income. We include the tax implications in our calculations and advise you about the tax consequences of your support issues. If it is to your benefit, we may guide you toward other division of property alternatives to avoid detrimental tax problems. We work with a variety of CPAs and forensic accountants in the Bay Area to assure the proper consideration of tax issues related to support and property division.
Because the federal government does not currently recognize same-sex marriages, separating partners are subject to a different set of tax rules than divorcing spouses. Even if you are legally married in another state, you are still treated as single under IRS regulations.
Consult with our North County legal team about establishing a fair spousal support agreement
To learn more about spousal or partner support rights and obligations, call Silverman & Silverman, Attorneys at Law at 760.512.3251 or 415.906.4142 or contact us online to schedule your free initial phone consultation. Sunday appointments are available.
From our law office in Carlsbad, we serve clients in Oceanside, La Jolla, Vista, Encinitas, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe and throughout the San Diego area.