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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7406
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I've been married to a man years who has a 13 year old

Customer Question

I've been married to a man for 6 years who has a 13 year old daughter that lives with us most of the time. She visits her Mom on the weekends and stays with us during the school week. His Daughter's Mom and her husband pay us $140/mo in child support (not much and not court appointed). My husband has been out of work for the last 4 years and has not put much effort into looking for work. I am tired of this scenario and want out. Will I be forced to pay spousal support to this lazy man? I live in California.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Good Day! I'll do my best to assist you. Please remember: I only provide general information and a local attorney should always be consulted.
Spousal support is based on the party's respective income. There is no statutory guideline amount as there is with child support, so the judge is given great discretion in determining a proper amount. They will look at several factors, with the goal being to provide enough support for both parties to maintain the standard of living achieved during marriage, with the understanding that 2 homes are more expensive to maintain than one.
The rule of thumb is that spousal support is awarded for one half the length of the marriage; however, there is a public policy presumption that both parties, if capable, will be gainfully employed.
If one party chooses to be un/underemployed, the court can "impute" income- assign that party an income based on what they are capable of earning, based on their skills, educational level, and the local economy (availability of jobs).
A stepparent has no obligation to financially support a step child after divorce, so child support will not be an issue.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Here are the factors, per the code, the court will consider in determining a fair amount:
4320. 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 interfering 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 or perpetrated by either
party against either party's child, 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 in accordance with Section 4324.5 or 4325.
(n) Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will the Judge take into account that the supported party did not put much effort into trying to find a job and that is what ended the marriage?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
California is a no fault divorce, so they won't look at the cause of divorce.
However, for spousal support, if a party is voluntarily un/underemployed, the court can take that into consideration and "impute" income (the amount they are capable of earning if they made a good faith effort) to lower support, or even allow for no support.
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