Divorce & asset division

Alimony/Spousal Support

CA Family Code §4330 provides that a spouse may file for spousal support:

“In a judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation of the parties, the court may order a party to pay for the support of the other party an amount, for a period of time, that the court determines is just and reasonable, based on the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into consideration the circumstances as provided in §4320.”

In ordering spousal support under this part, the court shall consider all of the following circumstances:
  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living.

  • The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage.

  • The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party.

  • The duration of the marriage.

  • 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.

  • The age and health of the parties.

  • Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, between the parties, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party.

  • The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party.

  • The balance of the hardships to each party.

  • The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Except in the case of a marriage of long duration as described in Section 4336, 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, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the parties.

  • The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support award in accordance with Section 4324.5 or 4325.

  • Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.”

To ensure your rights are fully protected, you should have an attorney representing you, like the attorneys at Shulman Family Law Group, who are knowledgeable in all aspects of spousal support/alimony law.

Determining Need for Spousal Support

When you submit a request for spousal support, the California court will require you to provide documentation to justify that request. Our attorneys can help you provide that documentation, which may include:

  • Current standard of living will be drastically affected and the other spouse has sufficient funds to cover the difference as well as keeping their own lifestyle.

  • The spouse requesting the support is reasonably attempting to provide sufficient income for themselves.

  • Marriages with duration of 10 years or more are subject to longer spousal support timeframes.

  • Spouse is unable to find employment due to lack of skills, amount of time out of the workforce, age of the spouse, health of the spouse, or lack of experience.

  • Documented evidence of domestic violence

Spousal Support Facts in California
  • The court may award spousal support on a limited time basis or a permanent basis.

  • If the court grants a permanent award, the support lasts until the death of a spouse or the remarriage of the spouse receiving the support.

  • A spouse granted a temporary spousal support must show the court they are trying to find employment through documented evidence.

  • A spouse ordered to pay spousal support can contest the ruling if he or she can show that the other spouse is deliberately avoiding looking for employment and that employment for that spouse’s education and skills level is available.

  • Spousal support is evaluated in each case and all factors and evidence is considered before the court makes a ruling.

For any questions regarding spousal support, contact us today to make an appointment with one of our skilled lawyers.