Under what legal circumstances is spousal support not given during a divorce?

Question Detail

Under what circumstances would spousal support not be awarded in a divorce?

Answer

Pursuant to Family Code § 4300, an individual owes a duty to support his or her spouse.  In a judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation of the parties, the court may order a party to pay for the support of the other party an amount, for a period of time, that the court determines is just and reasonable, based on the standard of living established during the marriage (Family Code § 4330).

A premarital (or other) agreement cannot validly waive the mutual duty of support owed between spouses while they are married and living together.  However, when entered into voluntarily by parties who are each represented by independent counsel and aware of the effect of the agreement, a premarital waiver of post-dissolution spousal support does not offend contemporary public policy and is not per se unenforceable. (Family Code § 1612(c)).  If the spouses separate by agreement, neither owes the other a duty of support unless they otherwise agree (Family Code § 4302); and any right to support after dissolution exists, if at all, only under the terms of the judgment.  Thus, a voluntary, knowing and intelligent waiver of support in a marital settlement or premarital agreement will be enforced according to its terms.

In determining spousal support, the court will consider various factors.  It is important to contact an experienced family law attorney that can provide insight into consideration broader than statutory regulations and factors.


Category: Family Law, Spousal Support / Alimony

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