California couples who achieve a wealthy lifestyle, are fortunate enough to have a substantial income and accrue noteworthy assets can see their financial fortunes put in jeopardy by a high-asset divorce. One of the most contentious issues that will come up for debate is spousal support. This can a problem, particularly in cases where one party was the primary earner while the other earned less or was a stay at home spouse.
With spousal support, a critical factor that should be understood from the outset is maintaining the marital lifestyle. Other aspects will be analyzed such as whether the higher-earning spouse achieved their success with help from the other person, if the lesser-earning spouse has marketable skills of their own to reduce the need for spousal support and what obligations and assets they have accumulated. It is important to be fully prepared and have a basic grasp of state law for support.
How will the court decide on how to maintain a lifestyle with spousal support?
The court will want both sides to be able to maintain their standard of living from the marriage. A key part of that is to assess their earning capacity. Marketable skills for both sides are primary factors in that determination.
For example, if the earning spouse is prominent in entertainment, sports or business, they are likely to have accrued massive income and assets that the other person benefited from during the marriage. Based on maintaining the lifestyle from the marriage, they are likely to be expected to pay a vast amount in support even if the other person has marketable skills and abilities for which they can earn an income on their own.
Not every person who achieves great success does so without help from anyone. In many marriages, the person who ends up as the lesser-earning partner in the marriage played a role in the other party achieving their success. That could be a vital point for a higher amount in spousal support than the surface information would suggest should be paid.
There will be needs each side has that were established while they were married. Even wealthy people have obligations and assets. That will include separate property that the sides might own. If the couple was married for a short time, it will be markedly different in terms of spousal support than it would be for a longer marriage. Older people particularly might have a more difficult time finding the means to maintain their marital lifestyle on their own.
To receive a fair amount to maintain the marital lifestyle, it is wise to have help
Since this can be such a complicated area of divorce and people are likely to have radically different viewpoints as to what would be a fair amount in spousal support, it is essential to have guidance throughout the process. Of course, that includes having proof of earnings, income and financial statements.
High-asset divorces can be costly and take a long time to navigate. In some cases, the sides can negotiate and reach an agreement they think is fair. In others, they cannot. Having experienced assistance that is well-known in San Francisco and other areas of the Silicon Valley can make a big difference in reaching a good result.