How Long Do I Have to Pay Support After a Divorce or Separation?
If you decide to separate or divorce, you may be required to pay support. California law requires that parents pay to support their children, even if those kids are no longer in the same household. If you were married and are earning more than your spouse, you may also have to pay alimony.
The amount of time you must pay support after a divorce or separation is going to vary depending upon the circumstances. An Irvine, CA divorce lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help you to understand your legal obligations and can assist you in making a compelling argument for a fair decision on support. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.
How Long Must You Pay Support After a Divorce or Separation?
Child support must be paid any time you have a child, even if you were not married to the other parent and even if you do not see your children. Typically, you must pay child support until the later of your child turning 18 or graduating from high school. In some cases, you and your spouse may negotiate a divorce settlement or parenting agreement in which you agree to pay child support for longer. For example, the agreement may specify that you will continue to pay support until after your child has completed college. You must comply with all court orders regarding child support and pay as required.
Alimony or spousal support, on the other hand, is not required after every divorce. You will have to provide your spouse with support after a divorce or separation only in limited circumstances. Factors that determine whether you will need to pay spousal support or not include the length of the marriage; a disparity in earnings and earning potential; and the contributions your spouse made to your career and family.
In cases where spousal support is required, you may have to pay support after a divorce or separation on either a temporary basis or on a permanent basis. Temporary support is appropriate in circumstances where one spouse just needs some time to become self-supporting. For example, your spouse may have been out of the workforce for a period of time and may need to take a few weeks, months or years to renew credentials, undergo new training and find a job.
Permanent support has become less common, although it is still appropriate under the right circumstances. Permanent support may be ordered if the earning disparity between you and your spouse is not correctable, especially if you had a very long marriage or your spouse helped you to become established in your profession. If your spouse is disabled or needs to take care of a sick child or family member and is not able to return to the workforce, permanent support may also be appropriate. Even when permanent support is ordered, you typically only need to pay until your spouse remarries.
An experienced Irvine, CA divorce lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help you to negotiate a fair settlement agreement related to support or can assist you in making a strong argument to the judge in a litigated divorce. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.