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Spousal Support in California: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Going through a divorce is a challenging, emotional journey that is often accompanied by many practical difficulties. One of these practical issues is the question of spousal support. Also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, this is a payment made from one partner to the other after a divorce to help them maintain their standard of living.

If you are going through a divorce in California, here is everything you need to know about spousal support.

How Is Spousal Support Calculated in California?

California law does not provide a specific formula for calculating alimony. Instead, the court considers a variety of factors when making a decision. These factors include:

Cotton Bro / Pexels / Spousal Support – AKA alimony – is a form of financial support that one provides after divorce.

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Financial needs and earning capacity of each spouse
  • Age and health of each spouse
  • Any evidence of domestic violence

Thus, the goal is to establish a support order that is fair and meets the needs of both parties.

What Types of Spousal Support Are There?

There are two main types of spousal support in California. Temporary spousal support is paid during the divorce proceedings and is usually calculated using a computer program that takes into account the parties’ incomes and other factors.

Alex / Pexels / To calculate spousal support, the Californian government analyzes certain factors that lead to divorce.

Once the divorce is finalized, the court may order a more long-term form of spousal support known as permanent spousal support. This type of support is usually granted when one spouse has significantly lower earnings than the other or has been out of the workforce for an extended period.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last?

The duration of spousal support depends on the length of the marriage. For marriages that lasted less than ten years, the court typically orders spousal support for half the length of the marriage. For marriages that lasted more than ten years, the court has more discretion and can order support for an indefinite period.

However, spousal support usually ends when the recipient remarries or dies.

What If Your Ex-spouse Isn’t Paying Spousal Support?

If your ex-spouse is not paying spousal support as ordered, you have legal options. You can file a motion with the court to enforce the support order, which can result in enforcement measures such as wage garnishment or property liens.

Shvets / Pexels / The duration of spousal support depends on the length of the marriage.

Alternatively, you can hire an attorney to help you pursue a breach of contract lawsuit.

Parting Thoughts

Going through a divorce is a difficult time, and spousal support is just one of the many issues that need to be addressed. However, it is important to understand the basics of spousal support in California to ensure that you are treated fairly in the divorce settlement.

Remember that each case is different. And there is no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating spousal support. A skilled family law attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the process and ensure that your rights are protected.

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