How Alimony Payments Are Made in California?

Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi A Professional Law Corporation Alimony

If you’re getting a divorce in California, the court may determine you need to pay alimony to your soon-to-be ex. This might be the case if you earn substantially more than they do.

The amount of alimony you could have to pay and how long you may need to pay it can vary depending on numerous factors. They include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • The length of the marriage
  • Whether your spouse remarries
  • How long it might theoretically take your spouse to become financially self-sufficient
  • The lifestyle your spouse has grown accustomed to

It’s important to make alimony payments on time. Additionally, if you’re the spouse who is to receive alimony, you need to know there are steps you can take to address the issue if your ex doesn’t make payments.

In either case, you may have questions regarding exactly how alimony payments are made in California. This overview will help you better understand the process.

That said, none of this should be mistaken for official legal advice. The best way to ensure alimony payments will be made appropriately (whether you’re the one making or receiving them) is to enlist the help of a qualified California divorce attorney.

The Alimony Payment Process in California

There is no one way alimony payments can be made in our state. Depending on the circumstances, the court may choose an appropriate method from several options.

The most common method involves alimony payments being automatically taken from your paycheck. The court will instruct your employer to deduct the necessary amount from your paycheck so that your ex doesn’t need to worry about whether you will make the payments yourself.

This approach is often ideal for both parties. Again, for the spouse receiving payments, it eliminates any concerns about a bitter ex withholding money that is owed. For the spouse making payments, it simplifies the process, ensuring they don’t need to remember to pay alimony according to a schedule.

However, there are instances when a court may not instruct your employer to automatically take out alimony payments from your paycheck. For example, maybe you’re self-employed.

When the court doesn’t require an employer to deduct alimony from your paycheck, usually, the documentation relating to your alimony order will contain information explaining how you should make payments. Your divorce attorney can help you find this information if you’re struggling to locate it yourself. Often, you’ll have the option to make payments in the form of cash or check.

Judges can also modify orders. For instance, perhaps a judge initially decides you don’t need to have payments deducted from your paycheck, trusting you to make them yourself. However, maybe you fall behind on making payments. If so, and your ex takes legal action accordingly, the judge might modify the order so that payments are now made automatically.

Just remember, this is merely a general guide. It is not a substitute for professional legal assistance.

If you’re getting a divorce and believe alimony will be an issue, at the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi, you’ll find a Westlake Village divorce attorney prepared to help you navigate these complicated matters. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at 805-379-4550.

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