If you’re like many people, you’ve heard of temporary alimony (commonly called spousal support in California) – but here’s the low-down on what it is, how long it lasts and whether you’ll be entitled to receive it.
What is Temporary Alimony in California?
The state of California allows you to ask the court for a temporary alimony order after you file your divorce case. The temporary order, if your judge issues it, will provide you with spousal support while you’re waiting for the final judgment.
Temporary alimony won’t last forever – and in many cases, when the court is considering a request for it, a thorough assessment of your property, assets and debts isn’t always necessary. The order only lasts until a judge gives his or her final ruling in your case.
These types of temporary alimony orders aren’t the same as orders for spousal support that end after a set period of time. It’s common for a court to order alimony for a set period of months or years. After that amount of time has elapsed, the alimony stops unless one of the former spouses asks the court for an extension (which the judge will have to issue a new order for) or agrees to continue paying.
How Long Does Temporary Alimony Last?
Temporary alimony only lasts until the judge has issued a final decision in your case. When your divorce case wraps up, the court may decide to award you alimony for a certain period of time (ending the temporary alimony you received during the divorce) or indefinitely.
Other Factors That Affect Alimony Payments After a Divorce
When a judge awards you alimony in your divorce settlement, there are some things that will trigger an end to your payments, such as remarriage.
If you remarry, your ex-spouse’s obligation to pay alimony to you automatically ends. However, some agreements specifically state that alimony will continue when you remarry – and if that’s the situation in your case, the payments have to continue. The only way to change it is if you or your ex-spouse go back to court and convince the court that it’s no longer necessary.
Will You Be Entitled to Receive Temporary Alimony?
If you need to receive temporary alimony payments, talk to your Stockton divorce attorney. She’ll be able to ask the court for it on your behalf. There’s no guarantee on how a judge will rule, though – your judge may not agree that you need temporary alimony, or he or she may decide that you’re entitled to more than what you’re asking for. Every case – and every judge – is different.
While judges don’t normally order a full review of your financial situation when you ask for temporary alimony, they will need it when you ask for a permanent order.
There are two ways a judge can order your ex-spouse to pay you spousal support: through a lump-sum payment or through monthly payments for a specific period of time or until something changes either of your circumstances (like your remarriage).
A lump-sum payment can be something like the transfer of property (such as your marital home) or a direct payment of other expenses. A monthly obligation requires your ex-spouse to pay you each month (usually on the same date).
What if Your Spouse Fails to Pay Temporary Alimony?
If your spouse fails to make a temporary alimony payment that the court has ordered, you need to let your attorney know right away. She’ll be able to let the court know and figure out what happened – and because nonpayment generally means that your soon-to-be ex-spouse has violated a court order, he or she is most likely going to end up in hot water with the court.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer about Temporary Alimony?
When you’re divorcing – whether you’re ready to file or your spouse has already filed – we may be able to help you get the temporary alimony you deserve. Remember, nobody can guarantee how a judge will rule, and every case is different… but if we’re able to help you, we will.
Call us right now at (209) 989-4425 or get in touch with us online to talk to a lawyer who can help today. We’ll help you with every aspect of your divorce, from child custody and child support to alimony and property division.