My Spouse Wants to Retire. Can I Force Them to Continue Working in Order to Receive the Same Amount of Support?

This very same question was asked in Marriage of Reynolds (1998) 63 CA4th 1373. “If Husband had indeed retired from active employment, could the trial court properly attribute to him a monthly income based on his ability to earn rather than his actual earnings, thus requiring him to work well past the "generally accepted retirement age of 65"?” In re Marriage of Reynolds (1998) 63 CA4th 1373; In re Marriage of Sinks, 204 Cal.App.3d 595. The answer was no. The Reynold court held no one may be compelled to work after the usual retirement age of 65.

The courts have held that a supporting spouse cannot deliberately shirk support obligations by refusing to work. Philbin v. Philbin (1971) 19 Cal.App.3d 115. The courts have also held that a supporting spouse cannot retire prematurely in order to avoid paying spousal support. In re Marriage of Sinks, 204 Cal.App.3d...

Tess was invited to speak on ESPN 1700AM Jesse’s Secret Stash Radio show!

Certified Family Law Specialist, Tess Reutzel appeared live on Jesse's Secret Stash ESPN 1700AM to discuss the 4 Biggest Family Law Mistakes. Tess shares a little about what she does as a family law attorney and offers insight and new perspectives on some tricky family law matters. Thanks to Jesse and ESPN for having us!

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Determining Child and Spousal Support in California

Arguably, one of the scariest parts of going through a divorce is trying to determine whether you will be able to make ends meet throughout the process and after the divorce is finalized.  With so many transitions taking place in a person’s life, it becomes important to form a budget.  But before a party is able to do that, he or she will need to determine what support should be expected.

As such, one of the first questions I hear from my new clients is, “How much child support will I have to pay?”  “How much spousal support will I have to pay?”  Or, “How much child and spousal support will I receive?”  This is determined by numerous family law statutes.

Child Support in California is determined by a guideline formula, and except in unusual cases, is not left to the discretion of the court. This formula is a complicated algorithm, but...

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