I’m getting divorced: Will I receive alimony?

by | Sep 18, 2019 | Firm News

Financial stability after divorce can be a top priority for men and women across California. After all, dividing property and supporting two separate households may create serious monetary concerns and challenges. Under these circumstances, many people wonder if they will be able to rely on spousal support to make this transition easier.

This can be an especially pressing concern for people who were financially dependent on their spouse during marriage or gave up a career to stay at home with the kids. Understand that not everyone is eligible for spousal support, though certain factors can make it more likely.

Factors that may increase likelihood of alimony

Generally speaking, alimony can be an option for parties who will be at a financial disadvantage compared to their spouse after divorce. Therefore, spousal support may be awarded if you:

  • Left your career to raise your children
  • Made significant contributions to your ex’s career and earning potential
  • Cannot work due to health or age
  • Were married for a significant amount of time
  • Have financial needs that exceed your financial resources
  • Would not be able to care for your children if you had to start working
Factors that may impede alimony claims

The following factors could work against a person seeking alimony:

  • If you have a violent history or a domestic violence conviction, you may not be eligible to collect alimony.
  • If you have a steady job or relevant skills and could find suitable employment fairly quickly, the courts may not award alimony because you have the means to support yourself.
  • If you do not specifically request alimony, you should not expect to receive it.
  • If your ex does not have the means to pay support, the courts may not award it.
  • If the divorce will not significantly affect your lifestyle, support may not be necessary.
What will happen in your case?

These are just some factors California courts consider when assessing petitions for alimony. Understand, though, there is no fixed rule for who will or will not collect spousal support. The likelihood depends on the details of your specific case, which you can discuss with an attorney.

Readers should also understand that you do not have to leave this decision in the hands of a judge. You can work toward an agreement outside of court through mediation or collaboration, or with a prenuptial agreement.