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Encinitas Divorce Lawyer Explains Alimony Initiative

Software Consultant Launches Campaign to End Alimony in California

Orange County software consultant Steve Clark has had enough of the alimony system in California. He has launched a campaign to bring an end to a court’s ability to award and enforce alimony on spouses.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla granted Clark, executive director of the Huntington Beach-based organization, permission to gather signatures in an effort to get this initiative on the November 2016 ballot. The group must gather 365,880 signatures from registered voters – 5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2014 general election – by Nov. 2, according to a article.

As an Encinitas divorce lawyer with clients who occasionally seek alimony from their spouses, as well as clients who fight against having to pay alimony, I can see both sides of this argument. Rather than pick a side, let’s examine the benefits and pitfalls of alimony – also known as spousal support.

Advantages of Alimony

For the payer:

  • Although it may hurt to cut an alimony check to your former spouse every month, there is some consolation in the fact that alimony payments can be tax deductible. This includes payments you make on your former spouse’s life insurance premiums that you may be court-ordered to pay. Making alimony payments sometimes offer more tax savings than the actual value of the payment.
  • Alimony sometimes comes with a court-ordered end date. Let’s say your spouse stayed home and raised children while you two were married, but wants to return to school and enter the workforce now that you’re divorcing. A divorce agreement could include alimony while your spouse completes a college degree or training program, and ends once gainful employment is secured.

For the payee:

  • This money can be of great assistance to you if you are at an income, medical care and employability disadvantage to your spouse. It can enable you to live quality of life comparable to what you were accustomed to when you were married.
  • Sometimes your alimony can be worth more than your divorce assets, so it could pay to be flexible in how those assets are divided.

Disadvantages of Alimony

  • It’s obviously cheaper for two people to maintain one household than to maintain two. Divorced spouses are likely to each have their own rent/mortgage payments and monthly living expenses, and it can be tough to pay your own expenses while also having to contribute to those of your ex spouse.
  • Your alimony payments to your former spouse could be permanent if you were in a long-term marriage and your spouse was a full-time homemaker throughout the marriage.
  • If you marry someone who is ordered to pay alimony to a former spouse, part of your income feasibly could go to your spouse’s ex. Think about it: you likely have consolidated your finances. Unless modified in court, your spouse owes that alimony, regardless of whether your spouse loses a job or takes a pay cut. So the money has to come from somewhere.

Figuring out alimony can be challenging, but we are here to help you. Regardless of whether you seek alimony from a soon-to-be ex, or you anticipate that you may be pursued for alimony in court, our experienced attorneys can offer sound advice.

Please call today for a consultation.

Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, 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.


Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.


Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass 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 and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.


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The Typical Divorce Process in California
Discovery of Assets & Obligations (1-3 months)
1 Complaint for Divorce Filed Start of litigation
2 Complaint is Served Varies, but usually shortly after the complaint is filed
3 Answer to Complaint Due 30 days from the date of service
4 Mediation Anytime, but usually after initial discovery
5 Temporary Hearing Usually early in the process
6 Late Case Evaluation / Judicial Hosted Settlement Conference Usually near the end of the case
7 Trial (If Needed) The goal is to settle, but if your case goes to trial, it could take months after the start of litigation.
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