If you’re like many people considering divorce, you want to end your relationship with your spouse for good. You don’t want any lingering contracts or property to keep you tied up. Luckily, if you are childless or your kids are grown, you may be able to cut ties for good.
There is one caveat, though. If you want a clean break, you’ll need to avoid ongoing spousal support payments. But is that even possible?
Is Alimony Required in California?
No, alimony is not mandatory in California. It is rarely ordered after very short marriages or those between people with similar incomes. It’s possible to waive support entirely if you don’t think it’s necessary.
However, the whole point of support orders is to ensure that lower-earning spouses don’t face financial hardship after their divorces are finalized. A complete lack of spousal maintenance payments could be considered unfair and might lead to problems with your settlement.
Furthermore, if you have a valid prenuptial agreement that sets the terms for spousal support, it will usually be enforced. This can keep you and your ex-spouse financially entangled for months or even years after your split is finalized. However, you have options in all of these situations.
Alternatives to Monthly Alimony in Divorce Settlements
The purpose of alimony is to ensure the recipient can maintain their standard of living after the divorce is finalized. However, monthly payments are just one way to accomplish that. There are two alternatives to standard monthly support orders that can help you cut ties for good a little sooner:
- Uneven division of assets: California normally requires couples to split marital property equally during divorce, but if you work together, you can negotiate other terms. You can structure your settlement to give the lower-earning party extra assets, like the family home, in exchange for waiving the right to spousal support.
- Lump-sum support: A similar solution is to use a lump-sum alimony order. It is a one-time support order that’s significantly larger than standard monthly payments. By paying the entire amount at once, the paying party can avoid having to make transfers each month. Meanwhile, the recipient can decide whether to budget the funds monthly or use them all at once for a house down payment or other large purchases.
Both solutions achieve the same goals as monthly support payments without restrictive ongoing legal and financial ties.
Choosing the Right Alimony Option for Your Split
The best spousal support solution for your divorce will depend on your specific circumstances. You can talk to the expert divorce attorneys at the Viola Law Firm P.C. to learn more about your options. Reach out today to discuss your needs and discover how we can help you achieve the best divorce settlement for your situation.