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Do I Have to Pay Alimony in a Divorce?

The end of a marriage can have very significant financial ramifications for the spouses. As you move forward towards dissolving your marriage, you need to make sure you understand California laws and that you do everything possible to protect your financial security in the future. Do I Have to Pay Alimony in a Divorce?

One of the biggest questions that arises when a marriage ends is whether you have to pay alimony in a divorce. The answer to this question is going to vary based upon many different factors.

An Irvine, CA divorce attorney at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help you to determine if you have to pay alimony in a divorce and can work hard to assist you in minimizing your payments and maximizing your share of the divorce settlement. Contact us today to learn more.

Do I Have to Pay Alimony in a Divorce?

The first important consideration which will determine whether you have to pay alimony in a divorce is whether you have a prenuptial or post-marital agreement in place. If you and your spouse have signed a contract which addresses the issue of alimony payments, the contract should be controlling on this issue. If your spouse has waived the right to alimony, this would mean you do not have to pay.

Premarital and postmarital agreements can sometimes be challenged, but as long as the agreement was not made under duress and proper protocols were followed, it should be upheld and its provisions on alimony should apply. An attorney can help you to make a persuasive argument that you should not be required to pay alimony in a divorce if your prenuptial agreement says no such payments are necessary.

If you do not have a premarital agreement, you and your spouse can try to create a settlement agreement addressing the issue of alimony. If you and your spouse both agree that you should not have to pay, then the court is not going to require spousal support.  The court will, however, generally require a non-custodial parent to pay child support regardless of what a premarital agreement says on this issue and regardless of whatever agreement to the contrary you might reach.

If you and your spouse do not agree and there is no prenup or postnup, the judge in your family court case will decide if you have to pay alimony. California Family Code Section 4320 provides a very long list of factors a judge should consider in deciding if alimony has to be paid. Factors like caregiving responsibilities, contributions made to the marriage by each spouse, earning potential of each spouse, the extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the education or career of the other spouse, and the length of the marriage are all considered.

An Irvine, CA divorce lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP understands the laws on alimony and can help you try to make a persuasive argument that no alimony is appropriate under your circumstances. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the legal assistance we offer to couples during the marriage dissolution process.