If you are a stay at home parent or homemaker, you might be worried about what your role will be after the divorce.
Until now, your role has been in the home as a caregiver and a supportive presence to your working spouse. You may not be able to stay in that role going forward and so your goal in the divorce is to ensure your financial security is looked out for until you can become self-supporting.
Spousal support serves this purpose. Spousal support, unlike child support, acts as regular earned income. You can use spousal support to meet your living expenses until you can find employment or another mean of supporting yourself.
One of the factors considered when judges determine a spousal support award amount is the standard of living the spouse became accustomed to during the marriage. For example, if you were used to living at a certain standard of living, the support award will try to allow you to stay at this standard of living, as best it can and within the financial means of your spouse. So, you can expect there to be some changes but not enough to dramatically affect your style and standard of living. Keep in mind that almost all spousal support is meant to be temporary.
You may not have a date of termination on your spousal support order but there may be stipulations about what events would require the support be terminated. For example, when the financial circumstances of either party change, the support may need to either be modified or terminated. If the receiver of the spousal support remarries or cohabits with another, support may change or end, depending on their continuing financial needs.
Similarly, it may be the case that you will need to make an effort to become self-supporting. If you do not become self-supporting after a certain period of time, or your former spouse has reason to believe you have not been putting in a good faith effort to do so, a judge can issue a Seek Work Order, which will require you to document your job search efforts and submit them to the court and the payor of the spousal support. So, while you can expect to have your financial interests looked out for in the short term, by way of spousal support, you may still be expected to find a way to become self-supporting eventually.
Are you in the Los Angeles or Beverley Hills area and have questions about spousal support? If you are beginning the divorce process and need guidance, Family Law Specialist Steven Fernandez can provide extensive experience handling complex divorce cases to ensure you end up with a support order that looks out for your best interests now and in the future.
Serving Los Angeles County, attorney Steven Fernandez can provide expert counsel for all your family law needs. Call our office at 310-622-9434; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.