How Long Does It Take to Get Alimony?

When Does Alimony Start in a California Divorce?

Many of our clients ask us, “How long does it take to obtain alimony payments?” In California, the answer to this question begins with knowing the difference between a temporary order compared to a spouse support judgment. As soon as you understand that, then the timeline will be quite clear.

First off, alimony on a temporary basis means support while the divorce is still pending and before an agreement is reached. A request for order that asks for spousal maintenance can be filed at the same time the divorce petition is filed, or later. Once that request is filed, the court provides a hearing date that is often between 30 to 90 days away, In addition to obtaining a hearing date for the request for order, the other spouse typically files and serves a responsive declaration before the hearing takes place. Keep in mind, spouses can settle the alimony issue before or at the hearing. At the hearing, the judge will generally make an order so long as the facts merit one.

An alimony judgment either comes through settlement or by a divorce trial. A settlement of spousal support then often becomes a stipulated judgment. By contrast, the judge will decide as to the amount and duration of alimony in the event the divorce goes to trial. In divorces with few or no disputes whatsoever, spousal support and other divorce issues can be settled in less than six months. On the other hand, more complex and contested cases may take more than six months—and even more than a year—to complete.

If you are interested in filing for divorce in Newport Beach, contact Burch Shepard Family Law Group today.