Spousal Support

Having a skilled negotiator and caring lawyer representing you can greatly affect the outcome of your divorce and other family law issues. A lawyer who listens to the client and takes the time to get to know you is a lawyer who is going to be better informed about your particular situation and who can seriously and skillfully address your concerns.

California temporary spousal support (alimony) and child support are determined by the most complicated formula of any state. People on either side of a spousal support matter are often misinformed and anxious about how spousal support will affect their material well-being. A spousal support award is not mandatory in dissolution or legal separation proceedings. Quite the contrary, courts have discretion (within statutory parameters) to deny spousal support altogether or to limit it in an amount and duration that reflects the ability of both parties to provide for their own needs. (Marriage of Pendelton & Fireman (2000) 24 Cal. App. 4th 39 at 52; 99 CR 2d 278 at 288). Section 3600 authorizes the family law court to award temporary spousal support as is necessary "for the support of the wife or husband." Initially, when you file for divorce, one spouse can seek temporary spousal support. It is based on California state guidelines. The figure is not permanent, but meant to support one spouse throughout the duration of the divorce process. Temporary spousal support allows the parties to maintain living conditions and standards pending trial and division of the community property and obligations. (In re Marriage of Murray (2002) 101 Cal.App.4th 581, 594.)

Permanent spousal support is figured differently than temporary spousal support. The amount and length of permanent spousal support depends on your attorney's ability to analyze what is called the marital standard of living in the context of over 15 factors set forth in the California Family Law Code and numerous California court decisions. If ordering spousal support under California Family Code Section 4320, the court considers numerous factors including, this list is not exhaustive):

  1. the marketable skills of the supported party.
  2. 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. (3)The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support.
  3. The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party.
  4. The duration of the marriage.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The balance of the hardships to each party.
  8. Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.

The FAMILY.CODE SECTION 4320-4326 can be found here.

To arrange a consultation to discuss the possible "for" and "against" arguments concerning spousal support issues you are facing, contact our office today at 310-914-3222 from Los Angeles, or 714-280-0601 from Orange County. 

Whether you are in located Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Encino, Hidden Hills, Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Ana, or Santa Monica please contact us for strong local representation.