Divorce With Respect

Spousal Support

California Alimony Lawyer

Spousal support, as it is known in California, and referred to as alimony by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a number of other states, is ordered to be paid by one spouse to another under a number of circumstances. Temporary spousal support is generally determined by each county’s support guidelines. The amount and duration of long-term or post-judgment spousal support is determined by the following from sections 4320-4326 of the California Family Code:

  1. The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account all of the following:
    1. The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment.
    2. The extent to which the supported party’s present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties.
  2. The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party.
  3. The ability to pay of the supporting party, taking into account the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living.
  4. The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage.
  5. The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party.
  6. The duration of the marriage.
  7. The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party.
  8. The age and health of the parties.
  9. The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party.
  10. The balance of the hardships to each party.
  11. The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. A “reasonable period of time” for purposes of this section generally shall be one-half the length of the marriage. However, nothing in this section is intended to limit the court’s discretion to order support for a greater or lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors listed in this section and the circumstances of the parties.
  12. Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.

To learn more about spousal support in California please contact the family law lawyers at Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP.