The intent of spousal support is to provide temporary financial support for a spouse until they can become self-supporting.
In most cases, spousal support will be temporary and may have a set time when it will be terminated. In other cases, there may be no set termination date however it may still be expected of the supported spouse to make a good faith effort in finding a way to become self-supporting.
Because the financial circumstances of the supported spouse is taken into consideration when spousal support is ordered, to include earning power, whether or not a spouse works can affect the spousal support amount. If a spouse is not making a good faith effort to find work and become self-supporting, and the payor of the spousal support wishes to do so, he or she may request the judge issue a Seek Work Order.
This order does just what it sounds like it does; it orders the spouse receiving spousal support to seek work. It will require the spouse make a good faith effort in finding work and provide proof to the court of their efforts. This could mean they have to submit a job search log that includes cover letters and resumes along with job ads to the court, in addition to attending period hearings to review their progress. There may be a set number of jobs they must apply to during a given period and it will order the party seeking work to notify the other spouse and the court immediately when employment is obtained. They may also have to register with an unemployment office.
This order is of course not a guarantee they will find work but spousal support may still be terminated if it is clear the spouse has earning power and could feasible find work but simply is not willing to. Seek Work Orders can also be issued in child support cases as well. If the party ordered to seek work does not comply with any component of the order, he or she may be found in contempt of court for not obeying the order and could face criminal charges as a result.
Are you in the Los Angeles or Beverley Hills area and have questions about spousal support? Family Law Specialist Steven Fernandez can provide extensive experience handling spousal support cases and can 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 email@example.com or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.