Who gets what? This is one of the most contested and complicated issues in any divorce. Whether you’re a typical working-class couple or have a considerable amount of assets and property to deal with, you probably have a lot of questions about alimony and property division if you’re divorcing. Fortunately, we have answers. In this blog, we will answer the important question of what a spouse may be entitled to in a California divorce.
The First Question: Alimony
The first issue we will tackle is alimony. Also called spousal support or spousal maintenance, this is an amount of money paid by one spouse to another in a divorce. The amount and duration of spousal support payments will vary depending on numerous factors, including the length of the marriage, each party’s income and assets, the standard of living established during the marriage, and more.
Here are a few rules of thumb to remember when it comes to California alimony requirements:
- For marriages lasting less than 10 years, the court will typically award alimony payments to last for half the duration of the marriage. For a four-year marriage, payments would last two years.
- For marriages lasting longer than 10 years, which are classified as marriages of long duration, the court will have much more leeway in determining the duration of spousal support.
- The amount of spousal support, and whether it is paid as a lump sum or in monthly payments, will depend on the unique case and many different factors, including those listed above.
The Second Question: Assets & Debt
The second issue involves property, assets, and debt. This may include bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, savings, artwork, motor vehicles, real estate, furniture, jewelry, and a host of other items. It may also include debt that the couple has amassed over the course of their marriage. When it comes to property division, who gets what will depend on what is considered marital property versus separate property.
California is an equitable distribution state in relation to property, assets, and debt in a divorce. This means that spouses will fairly divide everything classified as marital property. This typically includes things purchased or earned during the marriage—by either spouse. It does not include inheritances, gifts, or property acquired prior to the marriage by one of the spouses. There are some exceptions, however, so it’s important to talk to your attorney to clarify who should get what in your divorce.
Agreeing on Who Gets What—Without Court Intervention
When it comes to alimony and property division, we must note that spouses can come up with their own agreements, subject to court approval. This opens the door to flexible arrangements that suit a couple’s unique situation and needs. It is also one of the many benefits of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration to resolve divorce-related issues.
Contact Our Temecula Divorce Attorneys Today
If you want to find out more about who gets what in a Southern California divorce and how current divorce laws may influence your case, now is the time to talk with one of our seasoned attorneys. At the Law Offices of H. William Edgar, we have been fighting for families throughout Temecula, Riverside, Anaheim, Palm Desert, and the surrounding communities since 2004. We put our clients’ needs first and work tirelessly to reach the best possible result in every family law matter we handle because we know how important this is to our clients’ futures.
To find out how we can help you, give us a call at (888) 251-9618 or contact us online.