In California family law, alimony is referred to as “spousal support.” Alimony is designed to help the lower-income spouse with living expenses after a divorce or separation. Keep in mind, alimony is completely separate from child support. Spousal support is decided upon by a judge, unlike child support payments which are calculated by taking a child’s needs into consideration. The amount of alimony you could be legally obligated to pay is often at a judge’s discretion.

Alimony lawyer, Rick D. Banks, can help you secure a support plan with your spouse that is fair to both of you and your family. Contact a Fresno family law attorney today at (559)222-4891.

What is Alimony?

Alimony, or spousal support, is a payment from one spouse (known as the “payor”) to the other spouse (the “payee”) after they separate or plan to divorce. Under California law, alimony requires a written agreement or order that dictates that the payor spouse make monthly payment to support the payee spouse. This agreement made outlines that any financial support payments are alimony and not for child support. California law provides two types of alimony arrangements: temporary alimony and permanent alimony.

Temporary Alimony

One type of alimony arrangement is called “temporary alimony.” As in all alimony arrangements, the spouse who earns more makes spousal support payments to the less earning spouse. It’s called temporary alimony because this arrangement is meant to support the lower earning spouse during the couples’ separation and divorce proceedings. Temporary alimony usually ends when a permanent alimony awards is set in place by the court.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is also called “long term spousal support.” This alimony arrangement is usually arrived at after the divorce proceedings. These payments are meant to allow the lower earning spouse to live near the “marital standard of living” that they were accustomed to during their marriage. Permanent alimony payments need to be made until the payee spouse either re-marries or passes away.

Factors a Fresno Judge Considers When Deciding Alimony

Here are the most common factors a Fresno divorce court judge will consider when deciding on alimony payments:

  • The couples’ standard of living during their marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age, health quality, earning capacity, and job history of each spouse

Can I Make Changes to Alimony in Fresno?

Yes, you can. Either spouse can ask that changes be made to their alimony arrangements. This can be done as long as the original alimony award doesn’t have any language in it that makes the alimony arrangement “non-modifiable.” Here are the two ways you can get an alimony award modified:

  • You and your spouse agree to change the amount and/or the duration of the alimony payments. The spouses then have an alimony lawyer put together a written contract that defines the new agreement both spouses are happy with and submit it to the court.
  • You are able to show a change in circumstances that would warrant a change to the alimony award. The most common reason for this alimony change is that the payee spouse has a change in finances that makes them independent enough to not require alimony payments.

Contact a Dedicated Fresno Alimony Lawyer

The Law Office of Rick D. Banks has helped many Fresno residents pursue a fair alimony award settlement. You can reach us at (559)222-4891 to speak with an alimony lawyer today.