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Determining Spousal Support in California

Spousal support claims can be one of the most hotly contested matters in a divorce case. Given the significant financial impact that spousal support can have on spouses, it is critical that anyone involved in a divorce with a spousal support claim obtain highly qualified legal counsel.

For help in the North Bay area, including Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of James V. Sansone. We are committed to vigorously defending the financial and parental rights of people who are going through the difficult process of divorce.

The Court Considers Many Factors in Spousal Support Determinations

Courts in California have significant discretion to determine when spousal support should be awarded, the duration of any such awards and the amount of such awards. Accordingly, it is critical that you retain an attorney who takes sufficient time to understand your financial situation and make a compelling argument on your behalf for or against a spousal support award.

The court will consider many factors when determining the duration and amount of the spousal award. When spousal support is awarded, it is often awarded for a duration that is half of the length of the marriage. The duration may vary, and judges have discretion to award permanent support.

Other factors the court may consider include:

  • The economic position of the respective parties
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse's needs and ability to pay
  • Assets and obligations, both community and separate property
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • Immediate and future tax consequences
  • The reasonable time expected for the spouse receiving alimony to become self-supporting
  • Contributions one spouse made in the education and career of the other
  • Other factors the court deems equitable

Have Questions About Support? Talk to Our Attorney.

If you are considering divorce or looking for assistance modifying a support order, we encourage you to contact us for more information about your rights and options. Call our office in Santa Rosa at 707-623-1875 or email us to schedule your initial consultation with our lawyer.