Are you in the process of getting a divorce or legal separation and investigating spousal support in California? Read on to get the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What Is Spousal Support?

Often called alimony, spousal or partner support is a payment an ex-spouse is compelled to make to another after divorce or legal separation. Spousal support payments are meant to assist the at-risk spouse in leaving the marriage on an even financial footing.

Spousal support orders are not always required by the court, and some separation agreements include an agreement to waive alimony. Also, gender may not be a consideration for spousal support.

Spousal support awards by the court are typically monthly payments. However, there are circumstances where a lump sum is allowed. There are pros and cons for both parties, which is why it is advisable to hire a family law attorney.

Under What Circumstances Could I Get Spousal Support?

In California, spousal support is divided into two types:

1. Short term includes:

  • Temporary spousal support immediately after you split up and while your divorce is pending, i.e., paid from the official date of separation until the final divorce decree.
  • Short-term support can be ordered after the dissolution of a shorter (less than ten years) marriage and comes with a termination date in the near future.
  • Rehabilitative support that bridges the gap while the recipient spouse gets experience or education to re-enter the workforce as a self-supporting individual within a reasonable period of time.

2. Long term includes:

  • Permanent spousal support that applies to longer marriages (over ten years) where the dependent is unlikely to return to work, possibly due to age or health, and the stay-at-home spouse is financed within the context of the marital standard of living.
  • Reimbursement support aims to recoup funds used to finance one partner’s education or career development training during the marriage.

What Factors Does the Judge Consider?

Temporary alimony is decided using a calculation that considers the supported spouse’s needs and the ability of the supporting spouse to pay.

Permanent alimony looks at the following variables:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The income of each spouse
  • The earning potential of both spouses
  • Each spouse’s expenses
  • The tax impact of permanent support
  • Whether there are children living at home
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Periods of unemployment in order to fulfil domestic duties
  • Any physical or mental disabilities
  • History of abuse or domestic violence
  • The spouses’ respective health and age.

Because there is no cut and dry formula, and many people try to hide assets to manipulate their financial standing, getting sound legal advice is essential.

Get in touch with the award-winning family law attorneys at Westover Law Group for a customized approach to your spousal support in California. We achieve results in Riverside, San Diego, and San Bernardino counties.