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FAMILY LAW ARTICLES

September 28, 2022
Spousal Support in a Divorce Case

During a divorce case, you can request spousal support from the court. If the court grants spousal support during the pendency of the case, it is usually temporary support. Once the case settles or goes to the final hearing, the support order might change or could stay the same, at which time it becomes “permanent.” Permanent support could be for several years or until the receiving spouse remarries.

Temporary Support

During the pendency of the case, the court will look to maintain the status quo of both parties. If you and your spouse can settle, the attorneys determine what is fair based on both spouses’ financial affidavits.

This amount is only temporary, as your financial status might change when you settle your case or receive a final judgment. Spousal support not only considers the parties’ incomes but permanent support is also based on several other factors, including assets, liabilities, child support – to a certain extent – and other factors.

Permanent Support

The court cannot arbitrarily choose a number for one spouse to pay the other. It must consider several factors, as outlined in California Code, Family Code FAM §4320, including but not limited to:

  • The earning capacity of both parties.
  • The standard of living during the marriage.
  • The support each spouse gave the other while one spouse was not working for any reason.
  • Whether one spouse supported the other so they could receive an education.
  • Ability to pay, including income, assets, the standard of living, and unearned income.
  • The needs of both parties.
  • The obligations and assets of both parties.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The ability of a parent to support the children while working.
  • The age and health of both parties.
  • Documentation of domestic violence.
  • The tax consequences to both parties.
  • The balance of hardships for both parties.
  • The criminal conviction of one party.

If the support order is long-term or permanent, the paying spouse can request a reduction in support. Likewise, the receiving spouse can ask for an increase in support. Whether the court grants either depends on the same factors the court used to determine the initial support order.

Contact Hartley Lamas et al.

If you are planning on filing for divorce or have been served with a divorce, there are many decisions you must make, including child custody and support, spousal support, and division of assets.

Going through a divorce is complicated – and when you add emotions, it makes it more complex. Even if you want to divorce your spouse, you may still feel emotional, as it is a significant life change, especially for those in long-term marriages.

A California divorce attorney looks at your situation without infusing emotions and ensures that your spouse does not violate your rights. Contact Hartley Lamas et al. for a consultation for more information regarding the divorce process or to retain our California divorce lawyers to help you through this complex process.

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