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lwpat, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25387
Experience:  Practicing family law attorney
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Regarding Alimony. I have been married for 8 years with no

Customer Question

Regarding Alimony.
I have been married for 8 years with no children. My spouse and I both earned a similar wage throughout our marriage up until the final year where my wage dramatically increased. Is this taken into account when calculating alimony or do they simply look at the difference between the wages at the time of separation?

Is there a tool for me to calculate how much i should expect to pay my spouse?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  lwpat replied 7 years ago.
With no children and only eight years I would hold out for no alimony or either a short term maintenace for no more than five years. She has been an equal wage earner and this is a relatively short term marriage. There is no tool for such a calculation, it depends on the abilities of your attorney and also of her attorney if it gets before a judge. The obligation of one spouse to support the other financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or at the court's discretion.

In ordering spousal support under this part, the court shall consider all of the following circumstances: (a) The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account all of the following: (1) The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment. (2) The extent to which the supported party's present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties. (b) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party. (c) The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living. (d) The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage. (e) The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party. (f) The duration of the marriage. (g) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfearing with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party. (h) The age and health of the parties. (i) Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, between the parties, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party. (j) The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party. (k) The balance of the hardships to each party. (l) The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Except in the case of a marriage of long duration as described in Section 4336, a "reasonable period of time" for purposes of this section generally shall be one-half the length of the marriage. However, nothing in this section is intended to limit the court's discretion to order support for a greater or lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors listed in this section, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the parties. (m) The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award. (n) Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable. (California Code - Sections: 4320, 4324, 4330)

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your response. My spouse thinks she is entitled to $5k a month for 4 years? She earns $200,000 a year and is more than capable of living comfortably without my assistance. I am happy to help her in the short term but this feels like far too much to be paying her....
My concern is that fighting this in the courts could end up being more costly than using a mediator
Expert:  lwpat replied 7 years ago.
If she earns that much then it is unlikely that any judge is going to order you to pay alimony. However, you do live in California rather than Texas. Here I would offer half of what she is asking and try to move on.That is way more than sufficient.

Edited by lwpat on 11/1/2009 at 5:39 PM EST

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