When couples divorce in California, they generally want the relationship to end so they can move on with life. While some people can divorce and not look back, many people still will be tied to their ex-spouse in some way.
If the couple has children together, they will still need to speak with each other about their children, and one may pay the other child support.
Similarly, one spouse may have to pay the other alimony, which is also called spousal support.
Generally, spousal support is not something that ex-spouses want to pay, but it is something that could be a part of their divorce whether they want it or not.
If spousal support is ordered in a divorce, the judge will need to set an amount for the monthly payment and also order the amount of time that the spouse paying will pay the other spouse.
Factors used to determine spousal support awards
To determine the amount and the duration of a spousal support award, judges will consider certain factors according to California law. These factors include, but are limited to:
- Each spouse’s ability to meet the lifestyle they had during the marriage based on their work history, education, any gaps in employment to stay home with children and other factors that affect their ability to earn a sufficient income
- The paying spouse’s ability to pay based on their earning capacity and ability to meet their own needs
- The debts and assets they received pursuant to the property division and any separate property each spouse has to help them meet their needs
- How long the marriage lasted
- If a parent needs to stay home to care for children and how it affects their ability to work
- The age and overall health of each spouse
- Whether there was domestic violence between the parties
As California residents go through a divorce, they should consider these factors to determine whether spousal support will be an issue. Experienced attorneys understand the factors that judges analyze and may be able to guide one through the process.