Determining Spousal Support in California

In a divorce settlement, the issue of spousal support will be addressed by the lawyers working on the case. Spousal support includes monthly payments made by one spouse to another in order to assist the other spouse in their pursuit to become financially independent or to maintain the standard of living that they have been accustomed to. These support payments balance the needs of one spouse with the other's ability to pay.

How is Spousal Support Awarded?

In California, there are a few considerations that are taken when awarding a spousal support. These considerations are:

  • Financials of each spouse before and after the split
  • Ability to work and income potential based on age and education
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Ability of one spouse to pay the other and maintain standard of living
  • Financial obligations to other dependents
  • Reasonable needs of each of the spouses based on age and health
  • Assets awarded in the divorce settlement
  • Income tax consequences

Spousal support lengths can vary. A judge will award spousal support for a determined length of time until the both spouses can be self-sufficient in their earnings. A settlement agreement will highlight the exact stipulations of the divorce which will remain final, unless a modification or termination of support is requested.

To request an alteration or end to spousal support payments, a written document agreed upon by both parties must be submitted to a judge. If this agreement was not mutual, one spouse must prove an unexpected financial change has necessitated a change in the spousal support agreement. Termination of the spousal support before the court-ordered date requires either a severe financial change or the death of the supported spouse.

If you live in California and are having trouble navigating a divorce agreement, the lawyers at Claery & Green can help. With free case evaluations and track record of success, our firm can stand by your side.