Domestic Partnership Alimony

By Henry F. Lewis on October 26, 2019

Signing divorce papersIssues regarding alimony and child support seem pretty cut and dry during the dissolution of a marriage. With a domestic partnership, matters don’t seem to clear cut, at least to those not familiar with California laws. Oakland, CA attorneys Michael A. Gardner and Henry F. Lewis receive numerous questions about alimony and other matters related to the end of a domestic partnership.

The team at Gardner & Lewis, LLP would like to cover some of the basics with regard to alimony following the end of a domestic partnership.

What Is Alimony?

Alimony is a type of financial support that is given to a former partner after a legal separation or a divorce. It is also known as spousal support or maintenance.

If a person makes considerably more than their former spouse or partner and they have been together for a while prior to the end of their union, alimony will likely be paid. Alimony ensures that the person making less than their spouse/partner will be able to lead a comparable lifestyle following the end of the union for a temporary duration.

Can You Request Alimony After a Domestic Partnership?


Alimony can be requested following the end of a domestic partnership. This was important particularly before the legalization of gay marriage. Until that point, same-sex couples were only able to enter into domestic partnerships.

In order to receive alimony, it must be requested when the domestic partnership is dissolved. Even if you request alimony, you may not qualify for this support.

Qualifying for Alimony

To qualify for alimony, an Oakland judge will take a number of factors into account. This may include:

  • Your education level
  • Your earning potential
  • Your standard of living during the partnership
  • Your current income and needs
  • If you are supporting children (though this may factor into child support decisions rather than alimony per se)

Determining How Much Will Be Paid

The exact amount you receive in alimony will be determined by your current income and your former partner’s income.There are different formulas when making these calculations in court.

Determining the Duration of Alimony Payments

The exact duration of alimony payments can vary based on numerous factors as well. The exact duration may be determined by:

  • A date set by the courts
  • Remarriage/new partnership
  • Retirement

This can be discussed in greater detail as part of the dissolution of a domestic partnership.

Changing Alimony Payment Amounts

When a former partner experiences a significant change in income or earnings, this can alter the amount of alimony they receive or pay. For example, if someone paying alimony loses their job, they may request an adjustment to alimony payments in order to address their financial situation. Similarly, if someone receiving alimony gets a high-paying job, the amount they receive in alimony may be altered given their ability to support themselves.

These changes must be requested and approved by the court.

Collecting Unpaid Alimony

If alimony payments are delinquent, the former partner can seek various remedies to collect the maintenance that is due. Courts can garnish wages, put a lien on property, and even have the former partner incarcerated. Working with an attorney and the courts is essential to ensuring this happens.

Contact a Skilled Family Law Attorney

If you would like more information about the end of a domestic partnership and other factors, be sure to contact the attorneys of Gardner & Lewis, LLP. You can reach our Oakland law firm by phone at (510) 451-4822.

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Oakland Office

1939 Harrison St
Ste 210
Oakland, CA 94612

Open Today 9:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (510) 451-4822