Spousal support arrangements can help one party remain financially stable throughout and after a divorce. Unfortunately, parties often disagree on what constitutes an equitable spousal support arrangement, especially when one party wishes to obtain a substantial amount of money.
At Feinberg & Waller, APC, we help our clients pursue fair outcomes in their spousal support cases. Trust our team to fight for your rights and help you pursue an optimal outcome in your case.
How Does Spousal Support Work in California?
Spousal support orders can help an individual remain financially stable throughout and after a divorce, legal separation, annulment, or domestic violence case.
There are two types of spousal support orders in California:
- Temporary spousal support orders. Temporary spousal support orders enable a party to obtain spousal support while their case is ongoing.
- Final spousal support orders. A court can administer a final spousal support order to ensure a party continues receiving support after their divorce or domestic violence case is finalized.
The party that wishes to obtain spousal support must file a spousal support case with their country court by requesting a temporary or final spousal support order. Your spousal support attorney can help you file your case.
How Do Courts Calculate Spousal Support in CA?
Courts consider a wide range of factors when establishing a spousal support order, including:
- The length of the marriage or partnership;
- How much the recipient needs to uphold the standard of living established during the marriage or partnership;
- The age and health of both parties;
- Whether any other factors, such as children, play a role in the case;
- How employable the prospective recipient is (if they're currently out of work) and how long it may take them to find employment that eliminates the need for spousal support (including whether they require any training or professional education);
- The contributions the parties made to each other's educations, careers, or professional licenses;
- How the parties divided responsibilities during their marriage or partnership;
- Whether one party paused their career for the other to participate in activities such as parenting;
- How a spousal support arrangement would impact the payor;
- How a support order could impact each party's taxes;
- Other factors that may play into each party's financial stability, such as debts and property they own.
Unlike in many other states, California courts do not use a formula to establish spousal support. Instead, the court utilizes the above factors to create a spousal support arrangement customized to each party's needs.
It's important to note that a court does not necessarily need to determine your spousal support arrangement. If you and your partner agree on how much spousal support is necessary, you can draft a spousal or partner support agreement together with the help of your attorneys. If the court approves the order, it will be signed and finalized.
Like most other family court orders, individuals can modify a spousal support arrangement if it becomes outdated. Similarly, a court can impose penalties on an individual who refuses to pay for support.
At Feinberg & Waller, APC, our Calabasas spousal support attorneys have more than 150 years of combined legal experience helping Californians navigate spousal support cases.
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