What Divorcing Couples Need To Know About California Spousal Support


What Divorcing Couples Need To Know About California Spousal Support


When is comes to divorces, a common hot-button topic is spousal support. Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, is when one spouse makes payments to another spouse during or after a divorce in order to maintain the standard of living the supported spouse had during the couple's marriage. Spousal support is meant to prevent a divorced spouse from suffering from a standard of living decrease due to sudden financial changes brought upon by a divorce.

When a couple gets divorced, it is common for one spouse to have less training and experience in the workforce. They may also have a difficult time getting a job that allows them to maintain their previous standard of living in a short amount of time. Therefore, it is essential that all parties are informed with important knowledge pertaining to California’s spousal support laws.

If you are seeking a divorce in California, you’ll want to do your best to stay informed on your divorce rights. Here's what every divorcing couple needs to know about California spousal support.

1.) California Has Two Kinds Of Spousal Support

Within any California divorce, there are two kinds of spousal support options: Temporary Spousal Support or Permanent Spousal Support.

Temporary spousal support allows you to get support before your divorce case is finalized. This means you can get financial support during your divorce or legal separation. Of course, this is after you or your spouse has filed a request with the divorce court.

Once the request has been filed, a hearing will take place. The court will then look at the income and expenses of both parties before making any final decisions. When deciding how much support a spouse should receive, the judge will have to determine how much financial assistance one spouse needs and how much support the other spouse is able to pay.

Permanent spousal support is ordered at the end of a case. Unlike temporary spousal support, permanent spousal support cannot be ordered in an annulment case. In addition, there are a multitude of factors that the court needs to examine and consider before finalizing any permanent alimony decisions. This type of support can be decided as part of a judgement during the divorce trial or through an agreement between both spouses.

While some differences between temporary and permanent spousal support are less known to the common public, one of the most obvious differences it time. Temporary alimony has an end date while permanent alimony has the potential to last a lifetime. Reach out to your Monterey divorce lawyer to decide which spousal support option works best for you.

2.) Spousal Support Is Tax Deductible

If you live in the state of California, keep track of your spousal support payments. As long as you and your ex-spouse are not filing taxes jointly, you can deduct spousal support payments from your taxes.

While spousal support is taxable in California, child support is not. In order for you to be able to deduct the alimony payments you have made, you will need to follow a series of tax steps. For additional support, you can hire a tax professional for assistance.

3.) Many Factors Are Used To Calculate Spousal Support

Every divorce is different. Since each determination of spousal support depends on specific aspects of a couple’s life, there is no singular way spousal support can be calculated. Instead judges will examine a number of different factors including:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age of each spouse
  • Health of each spouse
  • Income of each spouse
  • The supported spouse’s ability to find employment
  • The amount of time the supported spouse devotes to domestic duties
  • The paying spouse’s ability to make alimony payments

While there are additional factors to consider, these are some of the main components courts review before finalizing a spousal support order. Remember, the overall goal of the courts is to create a spousal support ruling that enables the supported spouse to have the same standard of living that was established during the couple's marriage.

4.) Spousal Support Doesn’t Continue After Death

In the event of either spouse's death, the requirements for spousal support payments is terminated. If the spouse who pays spousal support dies, his or her estate is not required to be used to pay alimony payments. If the spouse who receives payments dies, their estate cannot demand continued payments from the surviving spouse.

5.) Marital Misconduct Does Not Affect Spousal Support

If you're getting divorced in California, you cannot use spousal support to punish a spouse for misbehavior. In the eyes of the California courts, spousal support can only be given for financial purposes. As emotionally devastating as it may be, the act of your spouse committing adultery or misconduct does not give you the right to demand spousal support.

Get The Divorce Support And Legal Guidance You Deserve

The Law Office of Barbara J May is dedicated to providing specialized, compassionate and cost effective legal representation to clients in Monterey throughout California's Central Coast. Their skilled attorneys have the necessary experience needed to help couples create a level of spousal support that is fair for both parties. If you are getting divorced in California, get the legal advice and guidance you deserve.


DISCLAIMER: The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Law Office of Barbara J. May and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

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