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Temecula Alimony Lawyer

The term “alimony” is synonymous with “spousal support”.  In California, the Family Code uses the term “Spousal Support” and “Support” rather than the term “alimony”.  Many people refer to spousal support as alimony regardless of the fact that the California legislature does not refer to it that way.  In many other jurisdictions, support for a marital partner is referred to by the state legislature as alimony.  This is important in some cases, as some individuals choose to register their out of state divorce decree in California, and that decree may refer to “alimony” as opposed to “spousal support”.  The Court in California will treat it the same.

The term alimony is defined in the dictionary as, “an allowance paid to a person by that person’s spouse or former spouse for maintenance, granted by a court upon a legal separation or a divorce or while action is pending”.  

The website Law.com defines alimony as, “support paid by one ex-spouse to the other as ordered by a court in a divorce (dissolution) case. Alimony is also called “spousal support” in California and some other states. Usually it is paid by the male to his ex, but in some cases a wealthy woman may have to pay her husband, or, in same-sex relationships the “breadwinner” may pay to support his/her stay-at-home former partner. Many counties and states have adopted formulas for alimony based on the income of each party. Payment of alimony is usually limited in time based on the number of years of marriage. Lengthy marriages may result in a lifetime of payments. A substantial change in circumstance, such as illness, retirement, or loss of income, can be grounds for the court to grant a modification or termination of the payment. Failure to pay ordered alimony can result in contempt of court citations and even jail time. The level of alimony can be determined by written agreement and submitted to the court for a stipulated order. Income tax-wise, alimony is deductible as an expense for the payer and charged as income to the recipient. Child support is not alimony.”  (See dictionary.law.com).

Unfortunately, the law.com dictionary’s version of the definition of “alimony” isn’t quite accurate.  California family judges are not allowed to discriminate between sexes, and therefore a woman does not have to be “wealthy” to be ordered to pay alimony.  Otherwise, the Law.com definition is accurate.

What is Palimony?

The term “palimony” refers to partner support.  Because domestic partners and same-sex marital couples are treated the same under California law, the same statutes that apply to opposite-sex couples apply.  Thus, there is no separate “palimony” statute.  Unmarried partners or partners that have not designated as registered domestic partners are not entitled to alimony under almost every circumstance.  There are several rare methods for unwed partners to seek support, which are through a Marvin action and under a “putative spouse” theory where one partner believed the couple was validly married but they are not.

Can Men (Husbands and Fathers) Receive Alimony in California?

Yes.  Men have equal rights to women in California and the Courts are not allowed to discriminate between sexes.  Nowadays, there are lots of men that stay home to raise families and the female is the breadwinner.  We have represented lots of husbands that seek and receive alimony from their wife or partner.

Detailed Alimony Guide

For a detailed guide to alimony, which we refer to as spousal support, please click on this page.  Many commonly posed questions are answered on this page.  For more information about alimony, call or email our office today.