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How Long Does It Take to Get Alimony in California?

Encinitas, CA – Before spousal or partner support (also called alimony) can be granted in California, a court case needs to be opened. This may be done in one of two ways: (1) by filing for divorce, annulment, or legal separation, or (2) by obtaining a restraining order for domestic violence.

Fortunately, if this financial assistance is needed immediately, it may be paid during the time the case is open and before the divorce is finalized. Called a “temporary spousal support order,” it can help offset costs during the time of the case. If there is no temporary support order issued, long-term support can also come as the divorce is finalized, when it becomes part of the divorce judgment. At this point, it’s then called “permanent spousal or partner support.”

Spousal Support CAJohn Griffith of the San Diego-based Griffith, Young, and Lass family law firm explains, “While there’s no set-in-stone timetable for receiving partner or spousal support, it generally takes from six months to over a year.” He notes that since each case is unique, it’s best to consult with an attorney to make sure you’re getting your needs met.

Temporary Support

Once a divorce petition is served, a request for order asking for spousal support can be filed. After that, a court will give a hearing date 30-90 days in the future. Depending on the county in California, some courts allow booking dates ahead of time, while others will have their clerks assign an available date. “As always, there is a degree of variance when it comes to timing,” notes Griffith. “Depending on the particular court and judge, this initial process can take one month or three.”

The next step after the getting a hearing date assigned is the other party filing and serving a responsive declaration. Before or during the hearing, the spouses can choose to settle their own support issues. If the case remains unresolved, the hearing will occur. It is then that the judge makes a spousal support order. This temporary order can be modified, continued or ended, depending on the situation.

Getting a Permanent Spousal Support Judgment

When the divorce is finalized, the judge will ultimately issue a permanent (or long-term) decision on spousal support. In California, this determination depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of each party
  • Each spouse’s standard of living needs
  • Each person’s ability or potential to pay to maintain the standard of living experienced during the marriage
  • Any instances of domestic violence in the marriage
  • Debts, property, or other liabilities
  • The impact any employment has had or will have on the ability to take care of any children

If both parties agree on the terms of the spousal support ruling, the case can resolve in several months. Otherwise, in more complicated circumstances, such a judgment can take more than a year.

“It’s always best to consult with a family law professional to see that your situation is being handled appropriately,” concludes Griffith. “Since there might be technicalities you weren’t aware of, you’ll want to make sure your case is done properly.”

About Us: Griffith, Young and Lass are a San Diego-based family law firm committed to excellence. With professionalism and integrity, we can help you resolve your spousal support case in a timely manner. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

© 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 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.

858-345-1720
john@gylfamilylaw.com

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.

858-345-1720
catie@gylfamilylaw.com

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.

858-345-1720
amy@gylfamilylaw.com

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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.
We deliver results
I am beyond grateful for the entire staff at Griffith, Young, and Lass. I don't even call myself a client anymore, they are my friends that protected my family and fought with me, side by side.-Erik H., San Diego