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Is Spousal Support Mandatory In California?

Is Spousal Support Mandatory In California?

If you’re currently going through a separation or divorce, you may have to go to court in order to determine if one of the partners will be responsible for spousal support or child support. Dealing with these kinds of payments can be contentious and bitter when a marriage is ending, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have as much knowledge as possible, and sound legal counsel.

What Is Spousal Support?

Spousal support is the monthly payment that one spouse has to pay the other once a divorce is filed. It is often referred to as alimony in other states and partner support in domestic partnerships. If you’re going through a divorce in California, it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about spousal support so you can determine what you’re entitled to or what you might have to pay to your former partner. The purpose of spousal support is to maintain a similar standard of living for the partner who was being supported. (the partner who makes less money)

Types of Spousal Support

In California, there are two types of spousal support: temporary and permanent.

Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary spousal support is when one partner must pay the supported partner for a limited amount of time. The purpose of temporary spousal support is to ensure that the supported partner can maintain their status quo while the divorceor separation proceedings are taking place.

Temporary spousal support is put in place, so the supported partner receives payment untila final, permanent determination for spousal support is decided. It is calculated by the court using a spousal support calculator. The court does not have to use the amount calculated, but the spousal support calculator acts as their guide.

Permanent Spousal Support

Permanent spousal support refers to the monthly payments a partner has to provide to the supported partner once divorce proceedings have concluded. This is the final determination of support.

The purpose of permanent spousal support is to ensure that the supported partner can maintain a lifestyle similar to the one they had during the marriage once the divorce is final. It’s important to note that after the divorce is finalized, either party can request that the court alter or modify the spousal support payments.

How Is Permanent Support Determined?

Permanent spousal support is intended to be long-term, but it’s generally not actually permanent. In order to figure out what the payment should be, the following are some factors that are considered based on their inclusion in the California statute, Fam. Code 4320:

  • The ability of both partners to maintain the same standard of living that they experienced during the marriage
  • Each person’s marketable skills for the current job market
  • Whether one individual may need further education
  • The contribution the supported partner made to the other partner’s schooling and career
  • The supporting partner’s ability to pay
  • Debt and assets of each partner
  • The length of the marriage
  • Whether the supported party can maintain employment without interfering with their ability to raise dependent children
  • The health of each partner
  • Any documented history of domestic abuse or violence

Spousal support is determined with the intent that the supported party will be self-sufficient in half the number of years that the marriage lasted unless the marriage lasted for ten years or longer.

Is Spousal Support Mandatory In California?

When going through a divorce, the courts may determine that one partner must make monthly payments to the other partner. Spousal support is not awarded in every single case, though. For example, if both parties are employed and make a similar amount of money, and there are no dependent children involved, there might not be any spousal support payments required.

This is because the purpose of spousal support is to ensure that the supported party can maintain the lifestyle they enjoyed during the marriage. If both parties can maintain that lifestyle independently, there’s no reason to award spousal support.

Contact Bruce A. Mandel Today For Help With Spousal Support Concerns Today!

If you need more information or help regarding spousal support in California, don’t hesitate to contact Bruce today. Bruce A. Mandel has more than 30 years of experience handling spousal support cases. When you contact him, you know you’re in good hands. Follow him on Facebook for more information about his firm. Call today at (424) 250-9130 or use the online contact form to schedule a FREE consultation.