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The basics of alimony

California residents who might be facing the end of their marriage have many things to consider. One of these is the payment or receipt of alimony. There are multiple factors that can affect the order and amount of alimony. Additionally, these factors change from state to state.

In California, some of the conditions courts consider when deciding to order alimony during a divorce can include the income each spouse makes, how long the marriage lasted and the ability of a person to work after an extended period of time without being part of the workforce. Courts consider what each spouse's income is. Income can come from a variety of sources, including salaries, wages, dividends and trust income. If the marriage was shorter than 10 years, the court will normally order alimony payments for about half the time the couple were married. If the marriage lasted more than 10 years, then the payments could be extended, sometimes even indefinitely. A person's ability to join the workforce is also considered.

Additionally, courts might also consider the couple's financial status during the marriage and each individual's age and state of health. Another factor taken into consideration is if and how a spouse can afford to pay alimony to their ex. Domestic violence and criminal convictions might also prevent someone from applying for alimony.

Some couples are able to negotiate their alimony payments amicably and then use a document to make it official. It is beneficial to divorcing couples to seek out the guidance a family law lawyer might provide during cases where there are alimony payments to be negotiated. A person might also refuse alimony, which usually happens if the person is able to support themselves fully or if they feel offended by the payment of alimony.

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