Spousal Support When Both Spouses Work

It’s becoming increasingly common for both spouses in a marriage to earn an income. However, when a couple decides to divorce, spousal support can still be awarded, even in dual-income households. Spousal support is a payment made by either spouse to the other to support their living standard after divorce. But how does spousal support work when both spouses work, and what factors affect the amount of support awarded? This blog post will explore the ins and outs of spousal support in California, specifically in dual-income households.


What is Spousal Support, and Who is Eligible for it in a Dual-Income Household?


Spousal support is a financial payment one spouse makes to the other after separation or divorce. The purpose of this payment is to help support the lower-earning spouse and allow them to maintain the lifestyle they had during the marriage. In California, the court will consider several factors when determining if spousal support is appropriate, including:


  • Each spouse’s income
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age of both parties
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s physical and emotional health
  • The financial needs of each party
  • The division of property in the divorce settlement


Considering the Tax Implications of Spousal Support Payments


For the party paying spousal support in a dual-income household, it’s essential to understand the tax implications of these payments. In California, spousal support payments are tax-deductible for the paying spouse and considered taxable income for the receiving spouse. However, this rule only applies if the payments are court-ordered. If spouses agree to an amount outside of court, those payments are not tax-deductible for the payor.


Factors Courts Consider When Deciding Spousal Support Amounts


The amount of spousal support awarded in a dual-income household will vary depending on the individual circumstances of the case. The court will consider the needs of the spouse receiving support and the ability of the other spouse to pay. In California, spousal support is generally calculated by taking 50% of the paying spouse’s net income, then subtracting 40% of the receiving spouse’s net income. However, this is only a guideline and doesn’t consider other factors, such as child support payments and the impact of taxes.


Modifying Spousal Support When One Partner Gets a Raise or Promotion


If the court already awarded spousal support payments in the divorce settlement, they could be modified if there is a significant change in the circumstances of the spouses. For example, if one spouse gets a raise or promotion, the court can re-evaluate the amount of spousal support. The party requesting the modification must show that the change in circumstances is significant and ongoing.


Pros and Cons of Receiving or Paying Spousal Support


There are pros and cons to consider when receiving or paying spousal support in a dual-income household. For the receiving spouse, spousal support can help maintain their standard of living and provide financial security. However, it can be a financial burden for the paying spouse, especially if they already support themselves and any children from the marriage. It’s important to discuss the pros and cons of spousal support with an experienced family law attorney.


Commonly Misunderstood Aspects of Spousal Support Laws

Spousal support laws can be complicated, and there are several misconceptions about the topic. For example, spousal support is not guaranteed in every divorce case, and there is no set formula for calculating the amount. Additionally, spousal support payments can be tax-deductible for the paying spouse, but only if they are court-ordered.


If you are considering divorce and spousal support is a concern, contact our experienced family law attorneys today. We at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger have the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate California’s complex spousal support laws, and we will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected. 


Can Child Support be Taken From Disability?

It is already a daunting task for a noncustodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. The burden becomes even heavier for those who are disabled and heavily rely on disability payments. Many wonder if somebody can take child support from disability, and if so, what their options are. This blog post will cover all the necessary information you need to know about this matter. 


Explaining What Child Support Is and How It Works 


Child support is a regular monetary payment the noncustodial parent makes to the custodial parent who cares for the children. The amount the noncustodial parent pays is typically determined by state law, based on the child’s needs and the noncustodial parent’s income. California determines child support by a guideline calculation, which is based on the income of both parents, time spent with the children, and other factors. 


Can Disability Payments be Garnished for Child Support Obligations 

Disability payments can be garnished for child support obligations. Disability benefits are considered income, and if the noncustodial parent is not meeting their child support obligation, the custodial parent can seek to garnish the noncustodial parent’s disability benefits. 


What Are the Exceptions to Garnishing Disability Benefits for Child Support Payments 


There are a few exceptions to garnishing disability benefits for child support payments. If the disabled parent’s income does not exceed the minimum threshold allowed under federal law, they will not garnish. Additionally, certain disability benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cannot be garnished for child support. 


How to Protect Your Disability Benefits from Being Taken for Child Support  


If you are disabled and receive disability benefits but also have child support obligations, there are a few ways to protect your disability benefits from being taken for child support. One option is to work with the court and the custodial parent to modify your support order to take your disability benefits into account. Another option is to request a hardship exemption through the court, which may reduce or eliminate your child support obligation. 


What to Do If You Feel Your Rights are Being Violated and Your Benefits are Being Taken Unlawfully 


If you feel like your rights are being violated, and your benefits are being taken unlawfully for child support obligations, you should immediately contact a family law attorney. An attorney will review your case and help you file a motion to modify your support order or request a hardship exemption. 


Questions to Ask a Family Law Attorney About Child Support and Disability Payments 


When seeking out the assistance of a family law attorney, there are several questions to keep in mind. You may want to ask your attorney about how child support is determined in California, whether California can garnish disability benefits for child support, and what options are available to protect your disability benefits from being taken. You also may want to ask about the attorney’s experience and success rate in handling cases involving child support and disability payments. 


Choose Us as Your California Family Law Attorney 


If you are struggling with child support obligations and disability benefits, having a qualified and experienced family law attorney in your corner is essential. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger in California, we have a team of skilled attorneys who are dedicated to helping clients navigate complex family law matters. We have experience in handling cases involving child support and disability payments, and we are committed to fighting for our client’s rights. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you find the best solution for your unique situation. 

Child Custody

Sharing Child Custody in California During the Summer

For kids, summer break can be a welcome relief from the daily demands of school and extracurricular activities. For divorced parents, the end of the school year often involves adjusting to a new co-parenting routine. Although there may be challenges, sharing child custody in California during summer doesn’t have to be stressful for you or your kids.

Check Your Child Custody and Visitation Orders

When you created your custody and visitation orders, you and your ex most likely included terms that set out how you would share legal and physical custody in the summers. Before your summer schedule begins, reviewing these orders and familiarizing yourself with the expected terms may be helpful. That way, you can start preparing before the changes take place.

Ideally, you and your California child custody attorney will have taken the time to develop custodial provisions that are suited to your family’s needs. If that is not the case, or your circumstances have changed, you may need to schedule an appointment with your California child custody lawyer to review these issues and determine if you need to modify your orders.

Check-In and Communicate with Each Other

You and your ex checking in with each other on your respective summer plan may help you minimize conflict. It may be that one or both of you would like to travel with your children. As parents, it’s important to communicate with one another regarding where your children will spend time. Keeping each other in the loop may help alleviate concerns and support your co-parenting dynamic.

Be Flexible When Possible

When California child custody and visitation orders are created, the terms are typically based on the parties’ needs and circumstances at the time. However, unlike these orders, families and their requirements tend to change. It may be that when your orders were created, your family did not anticipate traveling out of state in the summer. Fast forward a few years, and one of your children may have extensive summer team commitments both in and out of state. Likewise, a parent may want to travel with the kids during a time when the other has physical custody. Depending on the circumstances, you and your ex may need to revisit the agreement and make adjustments. When parents can be together and be flexible when reasonable, it helps support the co-parenting dynamic and minimize stress for the children.

Remember, It’s Not a Contest

Sometimes parents get caught up trying to outdo one another to entertain the kids during the summer. It’s important to remember that you and your ex are not in competition. Your kids want to spend time with each of you, whatever that looks like. It may help to recognize that the time your spend together is about connecting as a family and not doing more than their other parent.

Maintain Boundaries and Spend Quality Time Together

Summer can be a more casual and relaxed time for families. There can also be more opportunities to talk to and around your kids. Just as during the school year, it’s important to maintain boundaries and not disparage the other parent in the presence of the children. You also want to work with and not against the other parent when it comes to establishing and keeping certain ground rules in place. For example, you and your ex may want to discuss bedtimes, electronics, and suitable entertainment and see if you can get on the same page. Otherwise, you or your ex may run into situations where the kids operate under vastly different rules in each parental home. Everything doesn’t have to be the same, but it may help you, your ex, and your kids if you can keep things consistent.

Contact a California Child Custody Attorney

Sometimes, it’s best for everyone if parents formally modify their child custody orders. If you believe that your orders need to be changed or updated, you should consult with an experienced California child custody attorney. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced child custody attorneys who can help. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.