Understanding Spousal Support Calculations In California
When a divorce happens, many decisions need to be made that affect both parties. Spousal support, known commonly as alimony, is just one of them. It provides financial support to a party who was a non-wage or low-wage earner during the length of the marriage. The intent of this type of support is to prevent that party, who contributed in other ways to the marriage, from receiving an unfair economic disadvantage upon the divorce.
Couples can come to an amicable agreement on spousal support that will be provided to one of the parties in the marriage, but often the relationship is hostile and the court is needed to step in as a neutral party to make this decision.
Factors Used To Determine Spousal Support
In California, spousal support can be provided on a temporary or permanent basis. Temporary alimony is given while the divorce is being finalized until a permanent, or long-term amount, is determined.
Courts often use a variety of factors when determining how much permanent spousal support to award a party. These include but are not limited to:
- The timeframe of the marriage or domestic partnership
- The marital standard of living
- The age and health circumstances of each party
- The interests of any children involved
- The time needed for the receiving party to receive education or training to become self supporting
- The detriment to the payor if support were to be required
- The contribution of one party to another with educational, career assistance
Typically spousal support isn't awarded on a permanent basis. Along with the established amount, the divorce decree typically sets out the timeframe the spousal support is to be paid. The time period depends on many factors, but typically courts will look at how long, based on the specific circumstances, it will take a party to adequately support him or herself. This likely takes time as the party either searches for a job or receives educational training.
Parties can always seek to modify a spousal support order in the event of a change in either party's circumstances.
Contact An Attorney
If you have questions about spousal support and how the law and factors may apply to your situation, speaking with a family law attorney knowledgeable in this area of law is advised. Your lawyer can offer advice on the best course of action for your circumstances.
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