Because alimony varies – both in amount and duration – in every divorce case, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. However, you can get a good idea about what your typical alimony payments will look like (whether you’re on the paying end or the receiving end) by talking to an attorney who can evaluate all the circumstances in your case. You can also get a ballpark idea by understanding the rules judges use to settle on an amount.
If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse agree on alimony (also called spousal support), and if the judge finds that it’s fair in your case, you don’t need to worry about calculators or complicated figures – the judge will most likely sign off on your agreement.
How Judges Determine Typical Alimony Payments
Barring any special circumstances, your judge will evaluate several factors to determine how much you’ll pay or receive in spousal support, such as:
- How long you were married
- How much you need based on the standard of living you had during your marriage
- How much each spouse is capable of paying toward their own standard of living
- Whether getting a job would make it too hard to care for your children
- How old and how healthy each of you are
- How much debt you have
- How much property you have
- Whether there was domestic violence in your marriage
- Whether one spouse helped the other obtain an education, training, career or professional license
- What kind of tax impact alimony will have on each of you
The length of spousal support – how long the money will change hands – varies on a case-by-case basis. Generally, typical alimony payments last for half the length of a marriage that was less than ten years. (So if you were married for eight years, the courts will generally allow alimony for about four years; again, though, every case is different.)
Sometimes, in longer-term marriages lasting more than ten years, the courts don’t put an end date on alimony. Instead, they leave it to the paying spouse to prove later that spousal support is no longer necessary.
What Can You Expect in Court?
Your attorney can give you specific guidance based on how much you and your spouse earn, whether one of you doesn’t work and doesn’t intend to work, and what you can each contribute to your own standard of living. If you’re struggling right now because you’re not receiving money from your spouse – or if you’re struggling because you’re giving your spouse money before being ordered to pay alimony – talking to an attorney can help you figure out what to do next.
Do You Need to Talk to a Stockton Divorce Lawyer About Typical Alimony Payments?
Call us right away at 209-910-9865 to schedule a consultation with a Stockton divorce attorney who understands California’s alimony laws and the factors judges must consider when awarding payments. We’ll be able to help you.