Alimony, also commonly known as spousal support, is a form of financial support paid by one ex-spouse to the other after the marriage has legally ended. Alimony is enforced by federal law and is in place to acknowledge that in marriages where a spouse forfeits a career to manage the household, the couple is essentially splitting essential family duties based on nonmonetary contributions that have to be equally considered. To learn more about the ins and outs of alimony, continue reading our blog!
Who Qualifies for Alimony?
The whole objective of alimony is to provide
“reasonable and necessary” support upon divorce or separation. In
order to qualify for alimony one must show the court that he or she needs
financial support and that the other
spouse has the economic means necessary to provide it.
What are the Stipulations of Alimony?
It must be requested during the divorce, not
It will have to be forfeited in the event of
remarriage and at the request of the ex-spouse
Couples who agree on alimony terms can resolve
this matter outside of the court, however alimony can only be legally enforced
when ordered by a court or if there’s a written agreement
Failure to pay alimony payments can result in a
motion for contempt to be filed, and if approved, can lead to other means of
enforcement including wage garnishing
What is the Legal Process?
Immediately upon agreeing to divorce any individual seeking
spousal support must come forward and file a motion for it. A spouse can ask
the judge to make a spousal support order as part of divorce, legal separation,
annulment or a domestic violence restraining order.
If the couple cannot agree to this arrangement or to a fair monthly
amount, a judge will decide if the individual is indeed entitled to the alimony,
and if so exactly how much. Alimony will either be granted indefinitely or for
a limited amount of time depending on the couples current and future
An expert family lawyer will be able to provide end to end
legal services for divorcees and those trying to navigate alimony, child
support, custody and other legal cases. Learn more about the expert team at
Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates, our convenient services, free
consultations and much more on our website or by giving
us a call at (949) 951-9529. We have proudly served countless families in the
Orange County community with their alimony, divorce, custody, and bankruptcy
cases since 1974.
The process for a legal separation is essentially the same as for a divorce, but with the option for it to be reversed. Unlike divorced couples, legally separated couples can reconcile their differences in court, re-enter the marriage, and return to joint status. Below, we discuss the required steps for couples hoping to reverse a legal separation in the state of California.
The most important factor in reentering a marriage following
a separation is that both spouses agree on doing so. Ideally the couple will
have since resolved some or all of the major matters that initially lead to the
With your written Order of Legal Separation in hand, couples
can draft a motion to Vacate Order of Legal Separation. This document is
essentially the formal document needed to ask the court to review their
One a motion has been drafted, the court will require you to
draft an official Order to Vacate Order of Legal Separation. This is the second
step in confirming with the court that you wish to be remarried.
The final step is to file the Motion and Order to Vacate with the clerk of the family court where the
legal separation was initially filed. Be sure to include a copy of the original
Order of Legal Separation at the time of filing and keep in mind that there is
typically a filing fee due at the time of filing, which must be paid before the
motion will be accepted.
When married couples find themselves at a crossroads it’s often a choice between separation and divorce. What separates these legal processes can be confusing and most couples are often left with more questions than answers. In this month’s blog, we define and clearly distinguish the similarities and differences between filing for legal separation vs filing for divorce in California.
A legal separation is defined as an ordered agreement in
which married couples have legally defined boundaries and responsibilities.
This is often a three to four month process that couples take prior to filing
for an official divorce sometimes due to financial or religious reasons, or
because it was required by a judge. A separation can be reversed in court upon
all parties’ agreement in the decision.
Divorce is the irreversible legal dissolution of a marriage
in court. This process will take at least six months of hearings, negotiations,
and court ordered agreements before it will be finalized by a judge and made
It is not necessary for both spouses to agree to end a
marriage when separating or divorcing. In California, couples filing for these processes
also do not have to prove that there was a ‘fault’ by either spouse that lead
to the decision.
Throughout both of these processes couples will have to
agree on the terms of child custody and support, alimony, child visitation,
attorney’s fees, and the division of assets or property. So essentially, the
settlement agreement in a legal separation is almost identical to a divorce
The Major Differences
The main difference between legal separation and divorce is
that when a legal separation is finalized, the parties do not revert to “single
person” status. This is important to note for taxes and health insurance
reasons. Ultimately, the most notable difference between legal separation and
divorce is that divorce is final.
If you or someone you know is preparing for divorce or legal
separation in Southern California, it’s crucial that obtaining a lawyer comes first
and foremost. When choosing Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates as
your counsel you will benefit from decades of industry experience combined with
a reputation for honesty and success. Visit our website or call us today
at (949) 951-9529 for your free initial consultation.