Family Matters.
When It Really Matters.

California Process for Evaluating and Calculating Spousal Support

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2020 | Divorce

What is the process for evaluating and calculating spousal support in a Carlsbad or North County divorce?  When two people legally separate or divorce, the court is concerned about establishing a fairly equal financial playing field for both parties.  As a result, temporary and/or permanent spousal support could be a part of your divorce process.

Although this is referred to as spousal support for married couples, it is termed partner support for couples who are ending domestic partnerships. It might also be referred to as alimony.

There has to be a court case open for a domestic partner or spouse to request support. The case must be an annulment, legal separation, divorce or restraining order related to domestic violence. The individual could ask for temporary partner or spousal support while the case is still open. The support may become permanent and an aspect in the final agreement of the legal separation or divorce.

The court generally uses a formula for calculating temporary alimony. Different county courts could use slightly different factors when they calculate the support. However, the court does not use a formula in it’s process for evaluating and calculating spousal support or partner support on a permanent basis.  Instead, the factors listed in the California Family Code must be considered.

Some of the listed factors include the length of the domestic partnership or marriage, the property and debts of each individual, the health and age of each individual and whether there was domestic violence in the relationship. Other factors include the standard of living for each individual, the earning capacity and income of each person, and whether one partner or spouse helped the other obtain an education and career.

The California process for evaluating and calculating spousal support is quite complex.  Although the final determination of partner or spousal support lies with the court, partners and spouses may come to their own agreements.  This agreement may be reached through negotiation between the parties and their legal representatives or mediation. Any such agreement is then put before the court as part of their final legal separation or divorce settlement.