Having a spouse with a serious medical condition can be a source of stress. Some marriages cannot weather the pressure of a serious illness.
If you realize that you don’t want to remain married after your spouse’s diagnosis with a serious medical condition, you are not alone. People frequently divorce because of a spouse’s physical and mental health issues.
Before you file paperwork, however, it’s important to understand that severe health issues can affect the outcome of your divorce proceedings. Specifically, debilitating health issues could drastically alter your obligations for spousal support.
How California handles spousal maintenance for alimony
Alimony is also known as spousal support and spousal maintenance. Whatever name you give it, it involves one spouse helping to financially support the other after a divorce. In most divorces, spousal support orders are rehabilitative and temporary. They are meant to last for as long as one spouse needs to start supporting themselves.
Alimony can give someone an opportunity to go back to school or to take a low-paying, entry-level job so that they can rebuild their career after leaving the workforce to support the family. However, if your spouse is in a situation where they cannot reasonably support themselves after the divorce, the courts may order long-term or even permanent support.
A medical condition could be sufficient justification under California law for the courts to order maintenance until either your spouse recovers or they die. Understanding how your family’s situations can influence the outcome of your divorce will help you make better decisions during this difficult time.