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Spousal support determinations in California

Spousal support can sometimes be a contentious issue during a divorce. Because spousal support is a common aspect of many divorces, it is helpful for divorcing couples to understand what it is and how it works so they can better navigate the divorce process. One of the first considerations a divorcing couple contemplating spousal support may have is how spousal support is determined.

There are a number of factors the court will consider when determining an award of spousal support. The court will consider the income of both spouses and the length of the marriage will determine how long spousal support will be paid. In California, the duration of the marriage impacts the duration of the amount of time spousal support will be paid. If the marriage is less than 10 years, spousal support will not be awarded for longer than half of the marriage. If the marriage lasted longer than 10 years, spousal support may be awarded for a longer period of time or even an indefinite period of time.

Other factors the court may consider can include the standard of living enjoyed by the spouses during the marriage, the ability of the paying spouse to pay spousal support and the recipient spouse's ability to earn an income. Age and health, as well as other factors, may also be considered as well. If the recipient spouse remarries, spousal support payments end. Overall, there are a variety of considerations to take into account concerning spousal support.

Spousal support can be a challenging issue for both the paying spouse and the recipient spouse to address in a divorce. For that reason, it is helpful for divorcing spouses to be familiar with the process of how spousal support is determined.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Alimony - Are You On The Hook?" Caroline Choi, Nov. 13, 2016

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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