Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys
Spousal Support Compassionate in Our Approach, Decisive in Our Strategy

Spousal Support Lawyers in Carlsbad

Helping Clients with Alimony Cases in North County & All of San Diego County

Do you need legal counsel for a spousal support matter? Turn to the trusted team at Griffith Young & Lass! Each of our partners is a Certified Family Law Specialists (CFLS), giving our team a reputation as leaders in family law. We are familiar with the law and the courts to such a degree that we are able to give our clients a strong sense of calm and confidence throughout the course of their case.

Whether you are seeking spousal support or being required to pay it, our Carlsbad spousal support attorneys know the law and can fight for a support order that is fair. Get in touch today to find out what we can do for you!

Contact us on our website or give us a call at (858) 371-5569 today to schedule a consultation!

What Is the Purpose of Spousal Support?

Spousal support is financial assistance that recognizes a partner’s contribution to the marriage and helps the recipient achieve financial independence. As the divorce proceedings occur, the partner who will be the recipient of spousal support needs to keep in mind that the support is not forever. A judge will consider the marketable skills the recipient possesses to come to reach a place with higher earning potential.

Attorney John Griffith advises his clients who are receiving spousal support to develop a plan, set goals, and work diligently toward achieving those goals.

“This will show the court that you take your obligation to work toward becoming self-supporting seriously,” Griffith said. “It will also give you a sense of fulfillment and purpose.”

Types of Spousal Support (Temporary and Permanent)

There are two types of Spousal Support orders made by San Diego family law judges in divorce cases; Temporary or “Pendente Lite” orders and Permanent orders.

  • Temporary Spousal Support: Upon the initiation of a petition for divorce, and prior to either a marital settlement agreement or final judgment of divorce, should one party request an order for spousal support, the family court judge will consider issuing such an order if there is a legitimate need for the order (considering the circumstances of the parties at the time of separation, i.e. the status quo). Generally, the court will make an order sufficiently ensuring that the status quo is maintained such that the supported spouse may continue to live as close to the marital standard as possible, so long as the supporting spouse has the ability to contribute.
  • Permanent Spousal Support: Permanent Spousal Support is the spousal support order made by the court either through the incorporation of a marital settlement agreement or a final judgment of divorce after trial. Permanent Spousal Support is almost always considerably less than the temporary order, especially in cases of short-term marriages and cases wherein a large amount of assets are divided. This is because, when making the permanent order, the family law court judge will review a number of factors, including the earning ability of the supported spouse.

Alimony in California for Long-Term Marriage

There is a well-circulated myth that "if a marriage lasts longer than 10 years in California, you'll have to pay alimony forever!" This simply is not true.

The law in CA states that marriages that end in divorce after 10 years or more are considered "long-term marriage." The court will retain alimony jurisdiction permanently in the case of long-term marriage divorce. For example, if the judge orders spousal support be paid for 6 years, the other party can request renewal of alimony and petition for another alimony order. The courts can also order retroactive spousal support in some cases.

Short-Term Marriage Divorce & Alimony in CA

The state of California considers a marriage that lasted less than 10 years a " short-term marriage." Short-term marriage has different rules for spousal support than longer marriages. Typically, the judge will order alimony be paid for no longer than half of the length of the marriage. So, if you were marriage for a total of 6 years, the judge will not order alimony for longer than 3 years max.

If you have questions about your spousal support order and you feel that legal intervention is needed to ensure that the amount is fair, contact Griffith, Young & Lass online or by dialing (858) 371-5569.

Meet Our Team 

Honest. Fearless. Bold.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS
  • Noelle J. Slattery, Esq.
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq.
  • Joshua Yee, Esq.
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.
  • Lea Trojanowski, Esq.
  • Greyson Sharp, Esq.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS


    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


    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


    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., CFLS Shirin Asgari, Esq., CFLS


    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., CFLS Photo
  • Noelle J. Slattery, Esq. Noelle J. Slattery, Esq.


    Noelle J. Slattery, Esq. has a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts/Acting from Emerson College in Boston and a Juris Doctor ...
    Noelle J. Slattery, Esq. Photo
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq. Eric Cowdery, Esq.


    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
  • Joshua Yee, Esq. Joshua Yee, Esq.


    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.


    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
  • Lea Trojanowski, Esq. Lea Trojanowski, Esq.


    Lea Trojanowski is an attorney with Griffith, Young, and Lass, joining the firm in March 2021. Her pragmatic and level-headed approach to family law has allowed her to be successful in even the most emotional family law cases. Lea has effectively represented clients in a wide range of family law proceedings, but is particularly drawn to domestic violence restraining order cases.
    Lea  Trojanowski, Esq. Photo
  • Greyson Sharp, Esq. Greyson Sharp, Esq.


    Greyson Sharp received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from California State University, Fresno. After ...
    Greyson  Sharp, Esq. Photo

Duration of Spousal Support Orders

With respect to the duration of a spousal support order, there are two categories of marriage: long-term and short-term. According to California divorce law, a long-term marriage is a marriage that lasts for at least 10 years. A short-term marriage is a marriage that lasts for less than ten years. The length of marriage is measured from the date of marriage to the date of separation.

The general rule followed by San Diego Divorce Courts is that the duration of spousal support in a short-term marriage should be 1/2 the term of the marriage. So, in a situation wherein a couple was married for 5 years, the length of the spousal support obligation should be 2.5 years, at most. Keep in mind that this is a guideline and exceptions can be made in rare circumstances.

When it comes to a marriage of long duration, the family law court will not order a termination date for spousal support. In essence, the duration is indefinite. The supporting spouse, if seeking a reduction or termination in permanent spousal support in a long-term marriage has the affirmative obligation to seek a modification and/or termination of the support obligation or it will never change.

Spousal Support Factors

When considering the proper amount of a permanent spousal support order, a San Diego family law judge must consider what family lawyers call “4320 factors.” The “4320 factors” are a list of 14 factors codified in California Family Code Section 4320.

These factors include considerations of the following:

  • the length of the marriage;
  • the health and age of each party;
  • each party’s respective earning capacity considering skills, education, and periods of unemployment due to child rearing;
  • contributions to the education of either party during the marriage;
  • any recorded domestic violence;
  • tax consequences;
  • the needs of each party and the ability of the supporting spouse to contribute to the support of the other spouse.

The overarching consideration when making an order for spousal support is the consideration that the supported spouse shall become self-supporting within a reasonable time. The court will consider whether or not the party seeking support has taken reasonable measures to become self-supporting.

Permanent Spousal Support orders can be modified. Call now to speak with an experienced Carlsbad spousal support attorney from our team.

Spousal Support FAQ

What is the amount of spousal support based on?

In making an order, the family court will consider several factors, including the earning abilities of each party, the amount of assets and debts each party is assigned upon the divorce, as well as the age, health and education level of each party. Most importantly, the court will consider the need of the party requesting spousal support and the ability of the supporting spouse to pay it.

Can I file a motion after my divorce to terminate spousal support?

Yes. Any time circumstances change, you can file a motion to modify or terminate spousal support. It is the responsibility of the party seeking the modification to file a motion absent the written agreement of the parties. If a motion is not filed, then the Court lacks jurisdiction to modify spousal support further back from the date the motion is filed. If you are considering requesting a reduction or increase in support, the time to act is now.

What if my ex-spouse moves in with someone else?

California law provides that a supported spouse cohabiting with a member of the opposite sex has a presumed decrease in the need for financial support from his/her ex-spouse. However, the burden is first placed on the payer of spousal support to establish that the cohabitation is with a romantic partner.

If you have more questions, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with a spousal support lawyer from our team. Call our Carlsbad office at (858) 371-5569 or contact us online.

Our Results Speak for Themselves

Over 100 5-Star Reviews Throughout Our Social Media Platforms
  • The way John presented our case was pure genius with meticulous preparation and deliberate action in court.

    “We were referred to John Griffith at GYL by our former attorney. I specifically was looking for an aggressive attorney that would yield results. John, Josh, and the firm performed flawlessly, and did ...”

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    “She doesn’t back down from anyone. It was the best decision I’ve made yet and hopefully, it will be yours too.”

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    “Easy to work with, forthcoming about the process, set realistic expectations, and always kept cost in mind.”

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  • All three lawyers worked together on the issues surrounding my case, which helped greatly when I was in need of answers or support.

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    “GYL has been an extraordinary support and backing in my divorce. Being a male in the military, the process for divorce and custody is difficult. GYL was extremely helpful, and I was able to full custody of my children. That alone is such a monumental feat.”

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    “I hate seeing anyone go through custody battles but if you’re in that situation and need someone who is trustworthy and great at what they do, then I swear this is the place to get the help!”

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  • I highly recommend GYL if you are ever in need of a family law attorney.

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    “Compassionate and kind, however, he will fight for you and your best interests. He is calm and calculated and extremely smart.”

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    “The professional and succinct assistance was a much-needed breath of fresh air in the maze of hurdles and complications with our family law case.”

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Why GYL? 

Turn to a Team that Does It Best
  • We're Leaders in Our Field

    From case planning to preparation, to superior courtroom presence, our clients can be sure that they will walk into the Courtroom prepared and with the best chance of success.

  • Client Centered & Results Oriented

    Our representation is tailored to the unique circumstances of each client. We deploy the GYL strategic case trajectory dynamic to ensure the best chance at success at the most reasonable cost. 

  • Brilliant, Hard-Working & Honest

    We don't believe in wasting our client's time and money. Helping people is what drives us to excel at our craft. We first identify the goals and interests of each client, we then develop an efficient and effective case plan aimed at achieving those goals.

  • Responsible & Ethical Practices

    We believe in a responsible and ethical practice and stick to our values regardless of the situation. We're transparent and don't just tell our clients what they want to hear, unless it's what we believe, even if it may deter them from moving forward. We stand by our team's expertise and will always be upfront and honest with our clients. 

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