January 23, 2023

Differences in Temporary and Post Judgement Support

sound block and little wooden figures of parents and children placed on desk in courthouse

If you’re involved in a divorce or separation proceeding in California, you may have heard about “spousal support orders” or perhaps even temporary or permanent post-judgment support orders. A great deal of confusion can arise out of the terms, and many clients wonder about the distinction made between the two types of support orders.

The distinctions between the two kinds of orders are fairly simple, as each has its own use in the California family law scheme.

Temporary Support Order

Orders for temporary spousal support in California are designed to provide some basic support for the poorer spouse during the divorce process.

The rationale behind temporary support orders arose decades ago when divorces were less common and when one spouse (usually the husband) worked outside the home to support the family while the other (usually the wife) remained in the home to care for the household and their children.

Although this family model is no longer as common as it used to be, the purpose behind temporary support orders remains sound and viable to this day, and the concept has been updated to be more relevant to our own era.

Temporary spousal support is predicated upon the idea that even though both spouses are probably income earners in a modern family, one spouse very likely earns more income than the other. In such circumstances, it seems fair that the spouse with the weaker earning potential should receive a support order and income permitting them to live in approximately the same standard they enjoyed before the divorce.

In California, only a judge can enter a temporary support order after an application by the spouse wishing to receive support. The judge will consider the financial needs of the spouse seeking support and the capacity of the other spouse to pay support.

The judge will also consider other financial questions, such as:

  • The ability of each spouse to find work
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The separate assets of each
  • The standard of living the couple enjoyed before the divorce
  • Whether either or both of the parties will be able to maintain their standard of living during divorce

Post Judgement Support

Once a temporary support order is entered, the divorce case will proceed to an ultimate conclusion.

Most divorce cases result in a settlement, but in some cases, the parties cannot agree upon one or more issues and go to trial. In either event, the order dissolving the marriage will include some provision regarding permanent post-judgment spousal support.

Only a judge can enter a divorce decree or judgment. However, if the parties are able to resolve their case amicably and present a reasonable settlement to the judge that seems fair, the judge will be somewhat inclined to accept the proposed judgment as the final order.

If the parties are obliged to try the divorce case on the issue of support, the judge will consider many more factors in issuing a ruling than were considered in the initial temporary support order, including the length of the marriage and the economic contributions of each spouse to the household.

Although it’s called permanent support, no order of support is really permanent. A judge may fix a support order for a certain period of time or until conditions are met.

The death of one or the other of the parties will end the support order.

Parties can also seek post-judgment spousal support modification if one spouse or the other has significantly changed circumstances. Sometimes, these changes may lead to an increase or decrease in the award.

If the spouse receiving support obtains a better job at higher pay, a modification may be in order; the change may lead to a decrease in the award. A financial catastrophe like the loss of a job may lead to the reduction of the order.

A Roseville County Family Law Attorney for Your Support Order

If you need help with your support order case, Roseville divorce lawyers can explain the details, including seeking a modification to a permanent support order.

The Manzoor Law Firm has provided many clients with advice throughout their divorce or separation proceedings, including support orders and post-judgment spousal support modification.

You can consult with our Roseville County family law attorney. We handle family law cases with compassion and competence. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your unique situation.

Child Support

Divorce used to be as simple as mom gets the kids, dad gets visitation, and child support assignments. Over the years, there have been a lot of paradigm shifts that don’t make this so cut-and-dry. Laws have had to evolve to cover these changes, making it a good idea to speak with a Roseville County family law attorney about your child support in California.

Child support usually starts once the parental roles are determined, specifically the custodial parent and who is not. This is because the non-custodial parent (NCP) will be responsible for offering financial support to the custodial parent (CP).

Child Support Formula

The state tries to use a uniform formula to apply across cases of child support in California to keep things as fair as possible. This is to prevent arbitrary orders that are based on judges’ personal feelings or insights, which is how it used to be common for two similar cases to have wildly-different support orders.

Now, the formula looks at the actual income of each parent, the number of children each parent has in this relationship (as well as others), household expenses, and each parent’s job resources, such as insurance.

Custody arrangements will have a large impact on support. If the NCP spends more days with the child, it’s assumed that the cost of caring for that child will fall to the NCP on those days.

Pursuing Child Support With a Roseville Family Law Attorney

There are many things to consider when pursuing child support in California. Attorneys hold the most knowledge regarding the formula and how to leverage it in your favor.

The Manzoor Law Firm will be able to assess your child’s insurance options, parental income and expenses, child care needs, and other legal factors to determine what the exact right amount of your child support should be. Call us to schedule an appointment with a Roseville County family law attorney.