Spousal Support | Protecting Your Interests

California has a strict formula regarding spousal support, commonly known as alimony. Nonetheless, in a complex divorce spousal support can be one of the most challenging issues to resolve.

Our founding attorney Mark Ressa was quoted in the Forbes' article, "Why Do So Few Men Get Alimony?"

Applying extensive experience and legal knowledge, Mark Ressa of Bay Area Divorce can help position your spousal support case for success. A Board Certified Family Law Specialist* with over 35 years of legal experience, Mr. Ressa is prepared to advocate for you in negotiations, mediation or litigation. He can also explore alternative methods. Located in San Ramon, California, our law office represents clients across Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

California's Alimony Formula

There are many misconceptions about spousal support in California. Many people have outdated views of alimony that are inconsistent with the standards applied by California courts. For example, you may have heard the myth that when a couple divorces after 10 years of marriage, alimony must be paid indefinitely. In reality, California Family Code Section §4336(a) states that where a marriage is "of long duration" (typically 10 years or more) the court retains jurisdiction indefinitely, with exception when spouses agree otherwise. This means the court may continue making decisions about matters between the spouses, reconsidering and modifying its original orders as time goes on and circumstances evolve. Spousal support awards are not in any manner automatic, but rather based on consideration of a wide range of factors.

Courts determine the amount and duration of spousal support by considering 12 factors per California Family Code §4320. These factors include the length of the marriage as well as the needs of each party based on the standard of living during the marriage; the earning capacities of each party; the ability of the lower-income spouse to obtain gainful employment; the extent to which the lower-income spouse supported the other spouse in his or her pursuit of an education and career and several other things.

Mr. Ressa has an in-depth understanding of the California spousal support factors. In fact, he created and marketed the first Windows-based child/spousal support calculation program to be certified for court use by the California Judicial Council, SupportPro.

Dedicated To Achieving Your Goals

California courts have discretion in determining the amount and duration of spousal support. In addition, it is possible to take the matter into your own hands through negotiation, mediation or even marital agreements. It is important to have a skilled attorney advocating for you whichever avenue you pursue.

Full financial disclosure is required by both spouses in alimony disputes, and mistakes in this regard can prove costly. Lawyer Mark Ressa will help ensure your rights are protected as well as address your privacy concerns pertaining to property division and alimony.

Temporary Spousal Support

It is fairly common for spousal support to be ordered before your divorce is final. This is called temporary spousal support, and it can have a significant effect on your lifestyle or even the family business.

The judge does not have to use the 12 factors to order temporary support. Instead, the judge may rely on a local county formula. It is wise to consult with us as soon as possible before temporary support is ordered to protect your rights and interests.

Schedule A Confidential Legal Consultation

To discuss your legal concerns with one of our attorneys, please call 925-328-0103 or send us this online form and schedule a confidential legal consultation today.

*Mark Ressa is a Certified Legal Specialist in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California.