San Luis Obispo Spousal Support
Spousal support is a court order compelling one party in a divorce to provide financial support to the other party. Hosford & Hosford has been successfully representing individuals in spousal support cases, including those in San Luis Obispo, for more than 35 years.
As you and your spouse work to resolve the divorce, support may be one of the issues that you address. It’s important to know that if you voluntarily give up support or agree to support beyond your means, you may face financial difficulties in the future. Our attorneys can counsel you about both of these matters.
Establishing Spousal Support
Unlike child support in San Luis Obispo, spousal support is not mandatory. The family court judge has full discretion in deciding if you or your spouse should receive support given the circumstances.
In some cases, the court may establish temporary spousal support. During a divorce, this order requires one party to provide financial support to the other based on the present earnings of the parties. Some divorces are settled quickly, so these orders last less time. More contested divorces may take several years and subsequently have longer temporary orders.
When making a decision about “permanent” spousal support in San Luis Obispo, the judge takes numerous factors into account, including:
- The length of your marriage.
- The health, age, and lifestyle of you and your spouse.
- The education of both parties and financial contributions to that education.
- The capability of your and your spouse to support yourselves individually.
If the court determines you have a long term marriage, it is possible that the court will order that spousal support must be paid until there is a change in circumstances, the other party gets remarried, or either dies.
Modifying Spousal Support
San Luis Obispo spousal support may be modified if you or your former spouse can demonstrate a change in circumstances. This applies to both temporary and permanent orders.
The court may consider modifying the order for several reasons, including:
- A change in child custody or child visitation arrangements.
- One party begins earning more money than before the order was made.
- One party loses his or her job or is unable to support himself / herself. This does not include people who are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.
- Remarriage and/or cohabitation by the supported party.
Information About Alimony Under The New Tax Plan
When it comes to spousal support in California, the current tax law states the party providing the support payment can deduct the payment from their taxes, while the party receiving the support payment must consider it as taxable income. However, under the new tax law agreed by the Senate and the House, the support payments will no longer be tax deductible and the support payment received is no longer considered taxable income. The conference agreement combined alimony, tax bills, spousal support and separate maintenance.
As of now, existing support orders will not be affected by the new tax law. Any judgments for divorce, marital settlement agreements or other separate maintenance, alimony or spousal support signed after December 31, 2018, must comply with and be governed by the new tax law. On a similar note, any changes or modifications made after December 31, 2018, to existing spousal support orders will be subject to governance by the new tax law. The full summary of the new tax bill can be found here: Joint Explanatory Statement
In the summary, pages 100 and 101 are marked to highlight the section about spousal support. The tax code changes can significantly impact the seriousness of divorces filed in the near future, as well as those that are currently being adjudicated. The best means of protection is to speak with an experienced family law attorney and work in conjunction with a tax professional who keeps up with the current laws.
Hosford & Hosford’s Work
Spousal support orders can transform a client’s financial circumstances. In the past, people have retained Hosford & Hosford to establish support; modify orders; and collect past due support. In many cases, we have helped them to secure finances to which they are legally entitled. We have also protected clients from undue spousal support costs.
Join Hosford & Hosford for an initial consultation. We will discuss your questions, explore your options, and help to develop a strategy for your case.