Experienced Spousal Support Attorneys in Santa Monica, California

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Whether seeking spousal support or contesting a claim, our Santa Monica family law attorneys can assist California residents in building their cases by assessing financial needs, negotiating terms, and representing their best interests in court during litigation—when required.

We help gather and present evidence of the standard of living during the marriage, each spouse’s financial contributions and earning capacities, and any exceptional circumstances that might impact the support decision. Additionally, our experienced spousal support attorneys in Los Angeles County can address issues related to modifying or enforcing existing support orders.

Our firm’s size and legal infrastructure are not just about managing cases. They are about efficiently managing your case, thus minimizing the cost and time associated with even the most complex legal disputes. With knowledgeable attorneys boasting over 120 years of combined legal experience, we are highly experienced in dealing with every aspect of a California divorce, giving you the confidence that your case is in capable hands. Our unique approach to each case sets us apart, tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.

Contact our dedicated Santa Monica spousal support attorneys today to learn how we can help with your case.

Understanding Spousal Support in Santa Monica, CA

Understanding Spousal Support in Santa Monica, California

After separation, the court may order temporary spousal support to maintain the parties’ status quo as they go through the divorce process or, based on each party’s circumstances, permanent spousal support.

  • In California, spousal support is determined by:
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • The respective needs of each party.
  • The ability of the supporting spouse to pay.

The California family courts evaluate fourteen statutory factors when making a permanent spousal support order. Ultimately, the decision to order spousal support, at what amount, and the duration of that support is at the court’s discretion.

What are the Different Types of Permanent Spousal Support in Santa Monica, California?

Permanent spousal support comes in different forms in California, depending on the purpose for which it is ordered.

Examples of permanent spousal support include:

  • Rehabilitative Support: This is paid until the receiving spouse becomes self-supporting and is the most common form ordered in California divorces.
  • Reimbursement Support: When the recipient spouse is reimbursed for the educational or training expenses of the other.
  • Lump-Sum Support: This is often instead of a property settlement. It would not stop upon the recipient’s spouse’s remarriage or cohabitation.
  • True Permanent Support: The only “permanent” spousal support continues until the recipient’s spouse dies or remarries.

Not every divorcing spouse is entitled to spousal support in California. The court evaluates numerous factors, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living, financial needs and abilities, contributions to the marriage, earning capacity, age and health, financial obligations and assets, and more, to determine if and to what extent spousal support is warranted.

Each case is unique, and the court strives to reach a fair and equitable decision based on the specific circumstances of the parties involved.

No matter which side of the divorce you are on—whether you believe you are entitled to spousal support or do not believe you should have to pay spousal support—our skilled Santa Monica alimony attorneys can help you understand how the law is applied to your unique case so you can plan your financial future accordingly. Contact us today to learn more.

How Can I Enforce an Existing Spousal Support Order in Santa Monica, California?

Enforcing an existing spousal support order in California involves several legal steps to ensure compliance by the paying party. Our dedicated Santa Monica alimony lawyers can assess your case and take legal order enforcement measures to pursue the financial support agreed upon and finalized in a legally binding contract when you divorced.

We recommend keeping detailed records of all missed payments, including dates and amounts. Also, maintain a log of all communications regarding spousal support payments so we can use your records as evidence while we build your case.

Next, we will:

  • File a Motion for Contempt: If the paying party continues to miss payments, you can file a motion for contempt with the court. This legal action asserts that the paying party disobeys the court order.
  • Court Hearing: The court will schedule a hearing for both parties to present their cases. If the court finds the paying party in contempt, they may face penalties such as fines, wage garnishment, or even jail time.
  • Request a Writ of Execution: A writ of execution allows you to collect unpaid spousal support through various means, such as levying bank accounts or seizing property.
  • Seek Wage Garnishment: You can request the court to issue an earnings assignment order (wage garnishment). This order directs the paying party’s employer to withhold the support amount directly from their wages and send it to you.
  • File a Request for Order: This request can ask the court to enforce the support order and provide remedies such as interest on unpaid amounts, attorney fees, and other enforcement measures.

If the previous legal measures do not accomplish the outcome you deserve, we can implement additional enforcement mechanisms, including:

  • Interception of Tax Refunds: The court can order the interception of state and federal tax refunds to cover unpaid spousal support.
  • Liens on Property: You can place a lien on the paying party’s property, such as real estate or vehicles, to secure payment of the support owed.
  • Suspension of Licenses: Request the court to suspend the paying party’s professional, business, or driver’s licenses until they comply with the support order.
  • Seizure of Assets: The court can authorize the seizure of other assets, such as retirement accounts or investment portfolios, to satisfy the support obligation.

Working with our skilled spousal support attorneys in Santa Monica can help you navigate the enforcement process effectively by providing legal advice, preparing necessary documents, and representing you in court.


Contact Our Experienced Santa Monica Spousal Support Attorneys

If you seek spousal support or want to oppose paying alimony as part of your California divorce, speak with a dedicated family law attorney in Santa Monica at Fernandez & Karney as soon as possible.

Our law firm founder and managing partner Steven Fernandez is a Certified Family Law Specialists by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.