Divorce & Family Law Attorney

Spousal Support

Berkeley, California Family Law Attorney

Berkeley Spousal Support Lawyer

Alimony Attorney in Alameda County, California

Spousal support — often still referred to as alimony — is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. How your alimony issue will play out between you and your spouse will likely affect you and your children for years to come. I am attorney Martin "Jamie" Elmer, of Berkeley, California. I will work hard to make sure your spousal support agreement is fair and fits your needs for the future.

My family law practice is balanced between women and men, between people wanting to limit their exposure to alimony payments and people wanting to maximize a fair settlement. I bring more than 30 years of legal experience to the job of crafting quality, common-sense spousal support agreements that meet your specific needs.

Common Spousal and Child Support Issues

  • Fear of paying alimony forever
  • Abandonment concerns — can I be sure that my spouse will actually pay?
  • Creative arrangements like foregoing the right to some marital assets (like the marital home) or making a lump-sum payment in lieu of scheduled payments
  • How will remarriage affect spousal support?
  • Illness of one party affecting alimony amounts

Alimony and Child Support Determinations

In Alameda County and throughout California, spousal maintenance is determined by a judge and takes many factors into account. Temporary spousal support is a relatively simple formula that looks at income and child support obligations of the party required to pay. Alimony after trial or settlement is referred to as "permanent" alimony, but can be for a set number of years, or it can be indefinite [subject to future modification or termination upon a proper showing]. Generally, in marriages of under 10 years support will continue for set number of years, while in "long term" marriages support usually continues indefinitely "until further order of court." However, through negotiation, the parties can agree to either manner, or can agree to no support at all, no matter how long or short the marriage. In some cases, a lump-sum alimony buyout may also be possible.

Crafting Effective Permanent Spousal Support Solutions and Compromises

I apply my skills as a former editor of the law review to craft well-written proposals for spousal support. These motions take into account such factors as community and non-community property, assets, debt, business assets, alimony buyout possibilities, ability of and marketable skills of individuals to work, age of parties, length of marriage, health of parties, tax issues, domestic violence history and adultery of either party, among other factors.

An Experienced California Divorce Lawyer, Following Through for You

If we need to go back to court for modification, clarification or for any other matter regarding your spousal support, rest assured I will skillfully handle any needed follow-up. Furthermore, I will give you my best estimate of what you can realistically expect. I want you to make an informed decision before undertaking any legal action.


If you know that you will have difficulty paying alimony payments, you should contact a skilled family law attorney as soon as possible – if your payments get too far behind, you can lose your driving privileges and can even be jailed until arrangements are made for the payment! If you are having trouble getting your former spouse to pay, it is important to notify the court because there are ways to secure the payments by garnishing of wages, applying liens to property and other methods.

Experienced Oakland Alimony Attorney

From my offices in Berkeley, California, I represent clients in family law matters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Call me at (510) 644-2411 or contact my office by e-mail to arrange a free consultation to discuss your legal issue with an experienced Berkeley spousal support attorney.

Martin "Jamie" Elmer, Esq. is recognized as a Certified Family Law Specialist by California State Bar

Our Office

1919 Addison Street, Suite 105
Berkeley, CA, 94704
United States

P: (510)-644-2411

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Berkeley California Office Location

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(510) 644-2411

To speak with Jamie Elmer, our Berkeley, California, family law attorney, please call the number above or email us via the form below. Please fill in all required fields.

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