Spousal Support


California recognizes two types of spousal support or alimony. The first is temporary or pendente lite spousal support. This is generally calculated by a formula based on the earnings of each spouse and after accounting for the payment of child support, if applicable. The formula used varies from county to county and can significantly impact the amount of temporary spousal support to be paid or received.

Permanent spousal support, despite the name, is not always permanent. For marriages of less than ten years there is a rule of thumb that spousal support will last for one-half the duration of the marriage. For marriages of more than ten years a termination date is more uncertain and often will not be ordered by the Court in the initial divorce proceedings although the Court may choose to establish a review date pursuant to case law.

In setting permanent spousal support California Family Code §4320 sets forth 14 factors to be considered by the Court. Not all 14 factors will be relevant in every case, however, some factors will be relevant in nearly all divorce proceedings. The primary factors to consider are the supported spouse’s needs for spousal support, the supporting spouse’s ability to pay the spousal support requested and the marital standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage.

For additional information regarding temporary spousal support or permanent spousal support and to schedule a free one hour consultation, please contact The Law Office of Matthew J. Rudy .