Establishing Fair Spousal or Partner Support in Marital or Partnership Dissolution

Family-law attorney helps you reach an equitable settlement

Spousal support is intended to provide the lesser earning spouse with financial means of support from the greater earning spouse. Depending on your individual circumstances, the Court may order a lump-sum payment or monthly support installments that are permanent or temporary or interim until the permanent order is determined and entered. 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 Family Law, APC, focuses exclusively on Family Court-law issues. I studied and practiced mediation and collaborative methods of divorce to help you reach equitable settlements. I 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 dissolution proceedings. California Family Code §297 grants domestic partners the same rights and obligations as spouses when dissolving the relationship, including 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 gaining 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, I consider the same factors to determine what the court is likely to rule, which is an accurate starting point to propose an equitable agreement. In challenging cases, I consult economists and employment specialists to establish concrete values to present to your spouse or partner and the judge.

Tax issues

Marital dissolution imposes new tax considerations and rules that I must account for during mediation or collaborative sessions with the opposing counsel/party. The year 2018 is the final year that the spouse paying support deducts the amount of spousal support from income and the recipient of the support claims the amount as taxable income. Child support is not deductible nor taxable as income. I include the tax implications in my calculations and advise you about the tax consequences of your support issues. If it is to your benefit, I guide you toward other division of property alternatives to avoid detrimental tax problems. I work with CPAs and forensic accountants to assure the proper consideration of tax issues related to support and property division.

Separating partners are subject to a different set of tax rules than divorcing spouses.

Consult with my North County firm about establishing a fair support agreement for a party

To learn more about spousal or partner support rights and obligations, call Silverman Family Law, APC, at 760-512-3251 or contact me online to schedule your free, initial phone consultation. Sunday appointments are available.

Silverman Family Law, APC, located in Newport Beach, California, serves clients in and around Vista, Escondido, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, La Jolla, Mira Mesa, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos and all Orange County.