Spousal Support Attorney

Under California law, spousal support is sometimes ordered to assist the lower-income-earning spouse maintain the same approximate standard of living the couple enjoyed before separation. This goal is not always attainable since the income enjoyed during registration or marriage must now support two separate households.

Support Varies in Each Case

Unlike child support, there is no standardized formula to determine an appropriate amount of spousal/partner support. Instead, the amount is within the judge’s discretion after consideration of the unique facts of each case. Determining the amount of support becomes difficult or complicated when:

  • A spouse’s earnings are primarily paid in cash;
  • A spouse is self-employed and that spouse tries to hide his or her true earnings;
  • One spouse is not working at employment consistent with his or her ability to earn.
  • A spouse cohabitates with a romantic partner outside the marriage/domestic partnership.

Leigh A. Kretzschmar is experienced in using several investigative techniques to provide accurate information about each spouse, their needs, their circumstances and respective income earnings, to determine an appropriate amount of support.

Types of Spousal Support

Support ordered while the divorce process is on-going is called “temporary” or “pendent lite” support.  This support is ordered primarily on the income and expenses of the parties at the time of separation. When the divorce is ready to be finalized, the spousal support order is called “permanent”, considering several factors about the parties’ life circumstances.  Even though called “permanent”, the support will not necessarily last forever or not be subject to being lowered in the future.

The life circumstances considered by the court include, but are not limited to:

  • The ability of each spouse/partner to earn a living;
  • The age of the parties
  • The length of the marriage or partnership;
  • The education level achieved; and
  • The sacrifice of employment opportunity or professional advancement during a marriage due to responsibilities to raise children,  care for elders or enable the other spouse to further his or her education, training and fulfill work responsibilities.

Once an appropriate amount of support is set forth in a court order, payment is due on a monthly basis. If spousal support is not paid as directed by the court, there are a variety of enforcement options available.

Parties without proper legal representation commonly fail to provide all relevant evidence to the judge, often resulting in inappropriate spousal support awards. An inadequate spousal support award can be devastating since California law limits the circumstances under which the initial order can be modified. Leigh A. Kretzschmar is experienced in obtaining appropriate spousal support order for her clients, and is highly skilled at presenting evidence and making persuasive, successful arguments on behalf of her client’s needs, getting spousal support right the first time.

Contact Leigh A. Kretzschmar by calling (619) 231-9323 or completing the Contact Form.

In-person Appointments:  clients located within in San Diego, CA, La Mesa,CA, National City, CA, Chula Vista, CA, El Cajon, CA, Tierrasanta, CA, Santee, CA, Ramona, CA and surrounding areas.

Telephone appointments:  clients outside of the County of San Diego, California.