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Factors influencing the amount of spousal support

Spousal support is often an extremely contentious issue in many California divorces. Endless debates go on between the lawyers at both ends whether one spouse is deserving of spousal support and how much the other has the capacity to pay. While the receiving party wants as much money as possible for as long as possible, the paying spouse wants to pay the smallest amount possible.

The main factors that determine the amount of alimony are marital lifestyle, means and needs of the parties and the duration of the marriage. Spousal support is granted to the spouse who will not have adequate financial support to maintain the standard of living that he or she was accustomed to during the marriage. Duration of marriage also plays a significant role in determining the quantum of spousal support. The longer the marriage lasts, the higher the alimony amount.

However, no spousal support order can be implemented unless the paying spouse has the means to pay the alimony. It is very difficult for anyone to maintain two households after a divorce while maintaining their living standards. Therefore, both spouses have to arrive at a compromised amount based on the needs of the receiving spouse and the means of the paying spouse.

Lawyers play a crucial role in resolving this issue by encouraging negotiations and helping the parties reach a mutually acceptable conclusion. They can help provide tailored solutions based on the requirements of each client. Lawyers also adopt alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as mediation in order to resolve disputes regarding alimony. Therefore, consulting a lawyer on such issues is advisable prior to finalizing a divorce.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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