When celebrities divorce, we invariably hear about disputes over "alimony." In California, alimony is called "spousal support." When a married couple divorces, the court may order the higher earner - husband or wife - to pay money to the lower earner for some period of time, as determined by the trial judge. There are two types of spousal support: "temporary support" is paid while the divorce case is working its way through the system to maintain the financial status quo between the parties, and "long term" support (sometimes called "permanent support," notwithstanding it is not always actually permanent in duration), the purpose of which is to help the supported spouse get on their feet so they can support themselves. Long term support starts (typically) when the case concludes.