A Crash Course in Alimony


A Crash Course in Alimony


Chris Rock stunned audience members at the New York Comedy Festival recently when he took the stage and gave an impromptu stand-up performance. “When you see me on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ remember that I’m not on crack; that’s just alimony,” he joked with the crowd.

Of course, alimony is a very serious hot button issue for many, and in this entry, we’ll provide a crash course into the subject.

What Is Alimony?

Here in California, spousal/partner support and alimony are interchangeable terms used to describe payments from one spouse to another after divorce. The goal of alimony is to maintain – at least for some period of time – the lifestyle established by and enjoyed by both partners during the marriage.

Typically, the court will require the spouse who is the higher earner to help the lower earner maintain that lifestyle. Sometimes, the couples themselves are able to reach an agreement about such payments.

How Long Will I Be Required to Pay Alimony?

The length of the marriage itself will go a long ways in determining the duration of the alimony payments.

  • For marriages that lasted less than 10 years, alimony will typically not last longer than half the length of the marriage.
  • For marriages that lasted longer than 10 years, courts will often refrain from putting a firm termination date for alimony when the divorce is made final. However, both spouses will have the right to modification unless they agree on a termination date themselves.

How is Alimony Determined?

The number one item looked at by the court will be gross monthly incomes of both you and your spouse. The word “income” is all encompassing and can include salaries, commissions, bonuses, dividends, trust income, royalties, etc.

Other factors for determining alimony include:

  • The paying spouse’s ability to contribute the funds as well as the other spouse’s ability to earn
  • Age and health of both spouses

Also, if there is a history of domestic violence or a criminal conviction, that spouse will unlikely be able to obtain alimony from the victimized spouse.

Have Questions About Alimony? Call The Men’s Legal Center

Because we believe that equality should be a two-way street, The Men’s Legal Center is committed to ensuring that men are not handicapped after a divorce.

If you’re a man facing divorce or are thinking about it, get in touch with us here at The Men’s Legal Center.

Our number is 619-234-3838 or you can reach us via email.

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