San Marcos Family Law Attorneys
(760) 757-6854

Spousal Support Attorneys of San Marcos

Compassionate Spousal Support Lawyers Dedicated to Your Family’s Best Legal Interests in the Local San Marcos Area.

For many years, Southern California has been able to count on Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP for all their Spousal Support Attorney Legal Services. In addition to our San Marcos Law Firm’s Officeour Spousal Alimony Legal Services Law Practice Represents many Service Area Clients throughout the local San Diego CountyCalifornia region.

Spousal Support Alimony Attorneys with Years of Experience

Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP provides over 57 Years of Combined Family Law Counsel Experience dedicated to Your Family’s Legal Concerns throughout the Legal Process.

When two people get married, they have a legal obligation to support each other financially.

Even if a marriage ends, one spouse may still be bound by this legal commitment to financially support the other and maybe obligated to make alimony payments.

Some alimony payments are permanent and last indefinitely or until the supported spouse remarries or passes away.

In a divorce agreement, one spouse often has to pay the other spouse alimony after the separation. Alimony is a payment that allows the supported ex-spouse to continue living the same kind of lifestyle that he or she was living during the marriage.

Divorce brings many changes to a person’s life, from moving to a new place or living with new people to modifying your lifestyle. One of the biggest changes a number of people find themselves facing pertains to their financial status.

Alimony is commonly known as spousal support. It is a way for former spouses to maintain their way of life following a divorce. The alimony payment will typically be paid by the wealthier member of the couple.

The number of spousal support payments will depend on many factors, including the length of the marriage, separation time, ages, and reasons for divorce. Agreeing on this amount can be very difficult for many people, and thus alimony disputes are a common reason for divorce cases to go to court.

For some married couples, one spouse brought in the majority of the money that allowed the couple to maintain a quality of life that they likely became used to over the course of the marriage.

As a result, after a divorce, some individuals are unable to maintain a reasonable standard of living, let alone that which they had become accustomed to. In such a situation, spousal support alimony payments may be mandated or agreed upon by the couple.

Spousal Alimony Support

When determining spousal support in California, there are two main issues to be considered by the court and all parties. One is the amount of support to be awarded and two is the duration of support.

The family courts of California have a lot of discretion when it comes to determining how long a person will have to pay spousal support.

As a general rule of thumb that does not have to be followed by the court, marriages of less than ten years will have to have spousal support paid for half the length of the marriage.

For marriages of more than ten years, it’s anyone’s guess as to how long the court will decide spousal support is necessary.

Starting in the late 1990s, though, there was a trend among courts for spousal support duration to be linked to a transition period from married life to single life. The courts started not liking lifetime support.

In addition to their wide amount of discretion concerning the duration of spousal support, the courts have a lot of say in how much spousal support needs to be paid each month.

In an attempt to lessen the court’s discretion, many counties have adopted guidelines that outline acceptable spousal support payments.

These are still only guidelines that set a range, not set rules.

There are a variety of statutes for the courts to consider when determining spousal support. They need to consider:

    • The earning capacity of individuals. This is used to determine whether or not the parties will each be able to maintain the standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage.
    • The extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license for the supporting party. As an example, if the husband footed the entire bill for his wife’s medical school education and then stopped working to stay at home with the kids while his wife worked, that needs to be taken into consideration.
    • The ability of the supporting spouse to pay spousal support
    • The needs of each party as established by the standard of living during the marriage
    • The financial obligations and assets of each party
    • Duration of the marriage

General Information about Alimony

A marriage is, in part, a legally-binding agreement between two people to financially support each other. When a couple decides to divorce, this obligation may still apply and one spouse might be required to support the other with alimony payments.

Some couples choose to make decisions about alimony during prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, while others make alimony arrangements during the divorce process.

When two people marry, they enter a legally-binding financial agreement with each other. This means that when a couple decides to separate or divorce, there remains an obligation to financially support one another in the form of alimony.

If you have divorced are receiving alimony, you are entitled to financial security and a stable lifestyle. If there has been a change in your circumstances, you may be eligible for increased alimony.

If your circumstances have changed and you believe that you now deserve more alimony than you are currently receiving, we may be able to help.

Divorce is a complicated process, involving not only social but also legal ramifications. These include, for example, child support, separation decrees, and possibly even restraining orders. Another thing that divorces often involve is alimony.

Alimony is a simple concept. It is akin to child support, except that it is for spouses.

Essentially, alimony payments involve the higher-income spouse paying the lower-income spouse money to help him or her live.

Alimony payments are meant to supplement child support payments.

Unlike child support, furthermore, alimony payments are not calculated with a simple formula. To decide how much alimony, if any, one spouse should pay the other, a judge takes many factors into account.

For example, he or she will consider the age and health of both spouses; what both spouses are likely to earn in the future; how long a couple has been married; and how both couples have behaved through the divorce process and in the marriage.

Despite the fact that alimony laws vary from state to state, the general theme across the nation is that alimony payments are higher in marriages in which one spouse was financially dependent on the other spouse for a lengthy period of time.

Although it seems that one spouse benefits completely from alimony while the other spouse loses completely, this is not fully accurate.

The spouse that pays the alimony payments can deduct those payments from her or his taxes, while the spouse that receives alimony has to pay taxes for alimony received.

Factors That Can End Or Prevent Alimony Payments

The amount of alimony, or spousal support, a divorce provides for an ex-spouse varies on several factors.

The length of the marriage, the ages of the spouses, the reason for the divorce, and the length of separation can all affect how much and how long these payments will be.

As with the factors that determine alimony, the following factors can actually prevent it from being granted in some instances.

Signing A Prenuptial Agreement

A prenup stipulates what is to become of a couple’s assets and interests in the event of a divorce. One condition that can be addressed is whether or not one spouse will provide support for the other.

If the husband or wife earns significantly more than the other, he/she possibly may have to provide support if the marriage ends.

The prenup can prevent this by specifically acknowledging that no alimony will be provided if the divorce occurs. In order for the court to respect this decision, both spouses must agree to the stipulation.

Level Of Income

The court may determine an alimony award by taking into account the amount of income each party earns.

For example, if a wife is earning a slightly higher salary than her husband, and it is determined that he will most likely not experience difficulty supporting himself after the marriage, the wife may not be required to pay support.

With Regards To Infidelity

In most states, infidelity does not play a role in determining if alimony will be provided. California is one such state.

The court may dismiss the need for support if it can be proven that the wronged party is cohabitating with someone else prior to the marriage being nullified, as this could prove that he/she may no longer need financial support according to Section 4343 of the California Family Code.

Remarrying

If the spouse in need of financial support remarries, then alimony payments, by law, will stop.

Although there is little the supporting spouse can do in terms of starting or speeding the process of having an ex-spouse remarry, it’s an important fact to keep in mind.

Understanding Temporary Alimony

Determining alimony payments are a large part of reaching a divorce settlement.

Temporary alimony payments are a tool for the disadvantaged partner to receive compensation while the final amount is being agreed upon.

The laws regarding temporary alimony payments aim to provide each partner with the ability to maintain their way of life before and after a divorce is finalized.

Financial concerns tend to come to the fore in this regard.

The San Marcos alimony lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, are well versed in the laws regarding temporary alimony and are prepared to assist you throughout the divorce process.

Contact us to (760) 757-6854 to speak with a skilled and experienced attorney about your situation and needs.

Permanent and Periodic Alimony

Permanent alimony is a continued payment after a divorce settlement. Unless an individual remarries, he or she is locked into these payments until death. Permanent alimony is money that is must be paid consistently over time.

Conversely, periodic alimony is paid to a former spouse in order to reestablish a life after divorce. It can also be terminated due to remarriage.

However, periodic alimony can be changed over time. Amounts and frequencies of payments are adjusted as the financial status of the divorcee varies over time.

To better understand the types of alimony and learn which form might apply in your divorce case, contact the San Marcos alimony attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP at (760) 757-6854 today.

Factors Affecting Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony arrangements are less common today than they were in the past.

However, they may still be assigned if a couple has arranged for that type of alimony in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

In general, the longer a couple has been married, the more likely it is that permanent alimony will be awarded. The court may determine the value of the alimony payments depending on a range of factors, including:

    • Length of the marriage
    • How much each spouse currently earns or has the potential to earn after the divorce
    • Amount of property and debt received in the divorce settlement
    • Age and health of each spouse
    • The contribution each spouse has made to the other’s education or career

In many cases, one spouse leaves the marriage with significantly fewer job skills or earnings potential than the other and therefore may need alimony payments for financial support, to return to school, or to overcome other obstacles.

Determining Factors in Alimony Payments

Alimony payments are based on many different factors. These can include:

    • Salaries
    • Property
    • Physical condition
    • Accumulated debt
    • Marriage length
    • Length of separation

Depending on the individual circumstances of the divorcing couple, some of these factors can hold different weights. Determining alimony payments is a complicated process that involves understanding many different issues in both the marriage and divorce of the couple. Alimony can be paid for long amounts of time and cost a lot of money. It can also be an asset to an individual working through a divorce.

Determining Temporary Alimony

Payments on bills such as utilities, house payments, and other debts are typically considered when determining temporary alimony. Specific aspects of a couple’s past will also be considered. The following factors are representative of the information that might be weighed in the calculation of temporary alimony:

    • Length of marriage
    • Reasons for divorce
    • Financial assets
    • Living standards
    • Health of couple
    • Reason for need
    • Mortgage and other debts

Establishing Temporary Alimony Payments

A settlement can be reached between the two parties, but it usually takes quite a bit of negotiation between divorce attorneys.

When an agreement cannot be reached between the two parties, the decisions about temporary alimony payments will need to be made by the courts.

Attorneys will examine a couple’s financial situation as well as the reason for divorce when establishing temporary alimony payments.

It will likely reflect the dollar amount of permanent alimony payments following the divorce, though the figures may not be exactly the same.

Temporary alimony payments can make a huge difference in the divorce process. If one person is unable to pay their bills or hire a divorce attorney, this may significantly change the outcome of a final divorce settlement.

Taxing Alimony

According to US law, alimony is taxable. Payments must be included in the recipient’s gross income, although they can be excluded from the payer’s gross income. The IRS allows the payer to write off any alimony paid as a tax deduction.

To learn more about alimony, call the experienced San Marcos divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP today at (760) 757-6854.

Let us put our years of family law experience to work for you.

What Defines Alimony?

According to the IRS, alimony is defined by the following six criteria:

    • The payment is in cash
    • You and your spouse file separate tax returns
    • The divorce papers fail to specifically define the payments as not being alimony
    • You and your spouse do not share a residence
    • There is no obligation to continue payments after your spouse’s death
    • The payment is not considered child support

Child support is not deductible. Noncash settlements (such as property) are not considered alimony, nor are payments that are not required by the terms of the divorce settlement.

It is not required to itemize deductions in the case of alimony payments.

What is Palimony?

Palimony as a term is a little less common than it was a decade or so ago, but you’ve probably heard about it on entertainment television or in the gossip columns, and may wonder about what it means.

Palimony is a term that’s a combination of “pal” and “alimony,” and it signifies an alimony-like payment agreement in which one former romantic partner pays the other former partner as a result of promises made during the relationship.

If you’re still wondering what it means, imagine this: you’re a man who’s been in a long-term relationship with a woman. You’ve lived together, but you’ve never been married.

You have, however, made certain promises to this woman about how you’ll provide for her for the rest of your lives. You may even hold yourselves out to be husband and wife, but never actually get married.

If you break up, the woman may be able to sue you because you broke this promise.

Naturally, it’s hard to actually prove this, since there’s usually no real contract in place. While marriage itself serves as a contract, an oral agreement not witnessed by anyone except two unmarried people is probably not going to hold up in court.

Many courts treat the situation like a common-law marriage, which in California means that you leave the relationship with legal rights only to what you brought into it.

Circumstances When Alimony Can be Decreased

There are many circumstances in which a financially supported ex-spouse may be entitled to increased alimony.

In a legal case, the court will generally require documentation of a change in circumstances in order to grant alimony modification.

This documentation includes proof that the supported spouse is facing one of the following situations:

    • Disabled and therefore prevented from working
    • Unexpectedly fired or laid off from work
    • Victim to unforeseen medical bills or other expenses
    • Burdened by an increased cost of living

If you are facing a difficult financial situation due to changes in financial stability, you can consult an attorney today about a potential increase in alimony.

In order to prove to the court that you should pay a decreased alimony to your ex-spouse, you will have to prove that your financial circumstances have changed by showing the proper documentation.

Some of the circumstances that could entitle you to pay decreased alimony include:

    • An unexpected change in the cost of living
    • An unexpected loss of employment
    • Becoming disabled and therefore unable to work
    • Unforeseen medical bills or other expenses

These are only some of the many reasons why you may be eligible for a decrease in your alimony payment.

It is important to talk to a lawyer to see if you qualify for a reduction in alimony.

Changes to Alimony Support Agreements

In most states, a former spouse must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances to be granted a change in their alimony agreement.

Our San Marcos Alimony Support Modification Attorneys can help you with a wide range of issues related to changing your alimony agreements, including:

    • Increasing Alimony
    • Decreasing Alimony

You may need to modify your alimony payments due to a loss in income, a disability, or a change in your cost of living.

Additionally, if your former spouse experiences a significant gain in income, a decreased need for support, or begins to live with a new partner, you may be able to request a change to the alimony you currently pay or receive.

If you believe that your financial circumstances have changed and that you may be eligible for a decrease in your alimony payments, we may be able to help you modify your alimony agreement to better suit your financial situation.

To learn more about alimony modification, contact the San Marcos decreasing alimony attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, by calling (760) 757-6854 today.

Mitigating Family Law Complications From the Divorce Process

Difficulties that can arise when dealing with the complexities surrounding Spousal Support Alimony Law, ensuring all the paperwork is completed promptly, filed successfully, and sensitive family situations, and possibly other legal matters are mitigated swiftly.

This is why we have dedicated our Law Firm’s Legal Services Team to providing experienced, professional, and caring Spousal Alimony Support Law Representation to each client under our advisement.

Rest assured, that we are prepared whether your case includes other family law situations like an annulment, legal separation, divorce, guardianship, a child custody battle, or pursuing child support, we are prepared and have the time tested experience to assist you with these conflicts, as well.

Our team of Family Law Legal Professionals consistently obtain favorable solutions for our clients developing effective legal arbitration, mediation, and litigation strategies who are struggling with personal and/or marital disputes.

We use our expansive understanding of the Local Court’s Legal Procedures and California State Laws to tailor a plan specific Legal Strategy to the best interest of your family’s unique needs.

California Family Law Practice Area Services

One of the most important aspects to consider when hiring a Spousal Support Attorney is how proactive they are when it comes to representing your case.

Your personally dedicated San Marcos Spousal Support Lawyer will take preemptive measures to understand your legal situation and all the unique circumstances into consideration to reach the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Our aggressive family case law litigation tactics have proven to be successful year after year through Mediation and in the courtroom resulting in many beneficial resolutions and settlements for our clients. 

Call us at (760) 757-6854 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation with our team.

Family Law Legal Cases We Routinely Handle Involving:

Divorce Law: Including Annulments, Contested, and Uncontested Divorces
Military Divorce Attorney: Experienced with uniques situations of Military Relationships
Mediation: Mediation encourages divorcing spouses to cooperate and avoid trial costs
Child Custody: Including Visitation, Negotiations, Modifications & Enforcement Actions
Child Support: Including Monitary Negotiations, Modifications & Enforcement Actions
Legal Guardianship: Application Preparation, Fitness Assessment, Legal Representation
Adoption: Including Step-Parent, Agency, Private, and International Adoptions
Prenuptial Agreement: We can help you draft and enforce favorable agreements
Paternity: Actions for those seeking custody rights and support payments
Legal Separation Agreement: Traditional and Same-Sex Marriages
Spousal Support (Alimony): Agreements for Spousal Support or Maintenance
Domestic Violence: Including representation for Abuse and those Accused of Abuse
Civil Harassment: We can help you seek a Civil Restraining & Enforcement Orders
Juvenile Court: Including guardianship, juvenile delinquency, and dependency matters
Marital Property Division: Representation as you divide property during divorce
Estate Planning: Including wills and probate

Providing Up-To-Date Legal Advice on Alimony Law Issues

Our firm focuses exclusively on matters that relate to Alimony Family law. Concentrating on this practice area allows us to remain current on California’s Alimony Legal Codes. As a result, we are able to provide cutting-edge legal advice for a range of unique personal legal concerns.

Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP has the Best Divorce & Family Law Attorneys in the Local San Marcos Area who only provide Best Practice Domestic Violence Law Services with affordable fees.

Our "Family First" Focused Lawyers provide proactive legal solutions that safeguard your current legal situation helping ensure we mitigate future legal issues proactively for you.

We believe it is always best to try to mediate conflicts to help you to avoid courtroom litigation and the fees that accompany this form of dispute resolution, if possible.

Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP Family Law Firm Customer Reviews:

Child Custody Legal Services Review

"Thank you, Michael Fischer, you really are great at what you do."


"Going through a very stressful time Michael Fischer really helped me through it all. He helped me fight my case and took a lot of weight off my shoulders in order to get full custody of my son. He reported back to me all the updates with my case and ended up winning my case!

- Former Client, San Marcos California

Child Custody Legal Services

"Thanks, Thomas!"


"He was there every step of the way. Helped make this custody situation a little more bearable. Thank you, Tom and Linda."- Maria, San Marcos, CA

Divorce Legal Services

"They're very dependable, knowledgeable, and experienced."


"The Fischer & Van Thiel Firm is a great firm. They're very dependable, knowledgeable, and experienced. I definitely recommend them."

- Elizabeth G., San Marcos, CA

Family Law Legal Services

"This office is really good, thanks for everything."


- Patti A., San Marcos, CA

Divorce & Ongoing Family Law Services

"Friendly and knowledgeable — I highly recommend Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP!"


- Allison O., San Marcos, CA

Family Law Legal Services

"Fischer & Van Thiel is a very knowledgeable office and great to work with!"


- Chelsey G., San Marcos, CA

Why Choose Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP

Experienced Family Lawyers Who Care


  • Over 57 Years of Combined Legal Practice Experience

  • Available 24/7 By Appointment, Phone & Video Consult

  • Complimentary 30 Minute Family Law Consultations

  • Committed to Protecting Your Rights & Privacy

  • Always Serving You & Your Children’s Best Interests

  • Affordable & Friendly Family Law Divorce Lawyers

Contact Us Today! or Call Us at (760) 757-6854


10 + 8 =

Looking for the Best Family Law Attorneys in San Marcos? Lawyers You Can Trust with Your Family's Best Interests?  Perfect! You Found Us.

San Marcos Law Office
Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP
100 E San Marcos Blvd Ste. 400
San Marcos, CA 92069
Map & Directions [+]
Ph:   (760) 757-6854
Business Hours:

Mon-Fri:   8am - 5pm
Sat & Sun:   Closed