Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys

Determining Whether Your Alimony Is Appropriate or Not

San Marcos, CA – You’re getting a divorce, and your head is spinning from all the minutiae involved in the process. It’s now time for you and your soon-to-be ex to determine the issue of spousal support, more commonly known as alimony.

Solana Beach divorce attorney John Griffith explains, “Spousal support is a multifaceted issue and doesn’t boil down to income alone. There are many factors to be considered, so it’s necessary to consult with a family law professional.”

What Are Some Elements that Affect Alimony Payments?

Though each divorce case is as unique as the people who comprise the couple, there are some reasons for alimony payments to be more closely considered.

  • Dividing debts: Many people think alimony’s bottom line is determined by each party’s income. When settling your divorce agreement, spousal support amounts will need to have all debts taken into consideration. If, for example, you and your spouse choose to evenly divide your debts, but he or she doesn’t hold up his or her end of it, this can affect your ability to pay alimony.
  • Duration of marriage… and payments: If your marriage lasted a short duration, alimony payments should typically last only half as long as the marriage itself did. It’s best to decide how long payments will go on and have it written into the agreement. If your marriage was longer lasting, it’s still good to have an end date in sight for the payments.
  • Selfemployment: For spouses who are self-employed, it’s natural that monthly, quarterly, and/or yearly income may fluctuate a great deal. Thus, relying on tax returns alone isn’t the best way to determine spousal support payment amounts.
  • Marital standard of living: Whether you or your spouse makes more money after the divorce, the other party likely shouldn’t be entitled to that extra income. The term “marital standard of living” means the expenses and income you as a couple experienced during the marriage, not afterwards. If you’re anticipating making more money after your divorce, it may be reasonable to include a cap or ceiling on your alimony agreement beforehand.
  • Vocational examiner: If your alimony-seeking spouse is able to be employed but chooses not to, per California law, you have the option of having a vocational examiner ordered by the court. This person will determine your spouse’s earning capacity, ability, and opportunity for employment. While this process may cost you a bit of money, it might be worth it if you suspect your spouse is remaining willfully unemployed for the sake of collecting alimony.
  • Lack of need for alimony: Does your spouse have another way to support him or herself? If your future ex has a large inheritance, property, or other ways to pay for living expenses without spousal support, California Family Code section 4321(a) may help in this situation.
  • Sole custody of children: As cited above, California Code section 4321(b) states that the parent with sole child custody may in some cases be exempt from alimony payments, as that party is already paying for the children’s support and well-being.
  • Cohabitating with a non-spousal partner: If your future ex-spouse is living with another person, California Family Code section 4323 states that there may be a “decreased need for spousal support.”

Find a Qualified Professional

“When it comes to spousal support agreements and payments, it’s essential that you contact experienced family law counsel,” Griffith advises. “It’s best if you work with an attorney who focuses solely on family law so that all the nuances in your case are handled in the best possible way.”

To discuss your unique divorce or family law case, schedule a free consultation with the knowledgeable team at Griffith, Young, and Lass today. This outstanding team will help you achieve a great outcome in a timely and professional manner.

© 2017 Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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Meet Our Team 

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  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq.
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq.
  • Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq.
  • Joshua Yee, Esq.
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Prior to opening Griffith, Young & Lass, he worked as the managing partner of one of the largest family law firms in North County San Diego.
    John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    Catie E. Young excels in child custody cases and move-away trials. She has a unique approach to child custody cases and clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases. Since joining the firm, she has continuously brought her zeal and compassion to representing clients in child custody and domestic violence cases, and in December 2011, she became a partner at Griffith, Young & Lass.
    Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    Amy Lass, a certified family law specialist, was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting. Amy went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006.
    Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq. Shirin Asgari, Esq.

    Associate

    Attorney Shirin Asgari has a broad spectrum of legal experience and has handled matters in family law, criminal law, business law, and national security law. Currently, she focuses on family law matters and is a strong advocate for the rights of her clients. She dedicates time and attention to the needs of each client and the unique circumstances their case presents.
    Shirin  Asgari, Esq. Photo
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq. Eric Cowdery, Esq.

    Associate

    Eric Cowdery earned his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees before earning his JD from Golden Gate University as part of the Honors Lawyering Program. He was admitted to the California Bar Association in 2013 and has been working diligently in the field ever since. Taking a personalized approach to each case, Eric Cowdery is committed to working with clients to help them through the often confusing and complex legal process of divorce.

    Eric  Cowdery, Esq. Photo
  • Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq. Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq.

    Associate

    Jeffrey Wittliff is extremely attentive to his cases and believes in thorough preparation and the value of regular client communication. Behind the scenes, he has an extensive background in research related to all areas of family law, propounding discovery when necessary, and negotiation to settle cases with opposing parties.
    Jeffrey  Wittliff, Esq. Photo
  • Joshua Yee, Esq. Joshua Yee, Esq.

    Associate

    Attorney Joshua Yeereceived his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, from the University of California, San Diego. Joshua went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from University of San Francisco. His experience working with a local Certified Family Law Specialist solidified his desire to become a family law attorney. Since becoming an attorney, Josh has exclusively practiced in family law.
    Joshua  Yee, Esq. Photo
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq. Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.

    Associate

    Shaudi Malekzadeh is a Carlsbad family law attorney at Griffith, Young & Lass, advocating for the rights and interests of Southern California families in a variety of family law cases, such as child custody, alimony, spousal support, and the division of community property. She is committed to delivering effective legal representation to our clients, aggressively advocating for their legal rights, and offering compassionate legal advice.
    Shaudi  Malekzadeh, Esq. Photo

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