People often refer to the person working outside of the home as the one who supports the family, but it is the stay-at-home spouse who enables the lifestyle of their career-minded partner. Cleaning, cooking, managing a house and raising children are each arguably a full-time job.
A stay-at-home spouse and parent does the work of multiple professionals so that their spouse can focus on their career rather than on household and domestic obligations. To support the family, a stay-at-home parent gives up their personal professional advancement and income so that the entire family can benefit from their unpaid labor.
Those years of service to the family unit can eventually leave a stay-at-home parent in an unpleasant situation when their marriage is no longer healthy and happy. Can you ask for financial support when filing for divorce in California?
The California family courts do authorize spousal support
Spousal support, also sometimes known as spousal maintenance or alimony, is an important legal protection during divorce proceedings. While spousal support is not automatic in a California divorce, dependent spouses have the statutory right to request a support hearing both for a temporary spousal support order during the divorce and a more permanent order after the divorce.
Although you will have to present financial documentation to the courts and successfully demonstrate your need for support in a hearing, it is possible to get alimony as a stay-at-home spouse who now wants a divorce.
How do the courts set alimony amounts?
There are two factors that influence how much spousal support you received. Those factors are the amount of each payment and the duration of payments. The courts consider many family circumstances when deciding how much support you need and how long it should last.
Your health, the custody arrangements for children, the special needs of any children you have, your spouse’s income and the length of the marriage can all impact the amount of support that you receive and how long the support will last. Even temporary spousal support can be incredibly beneficial and help you secure independent living circumstances while you try to re-enter the workforce or gain necessary education to get a job with competitive and livable pay.
Discussing your financial concerns with a lawyer before you file or request support can help you make better decisions in an upcoming divorce.