Family Law Blog

Spousal Support: How are Dollar Amounts Calculated and Established

Thursday, December 31, 2015

To the average person going through a divorce, the concept of spousal support is often daunting and complicated, leading to more questions than before you started.

But in order to sort out the difficult matter that is alimony, it is best that you do some preliminary research into the topic.

Because, with a matter like spousal support, when you are armed with knowledge, the overall process runs smoother and with less stress.

To ease your worries, we have compiled some basic information on the monetary figures related to spousal support, which have been taken directly from the California Courts web page.

Temporary Spousal Support

To establish and calculate a dollar amount for temporary support figures, judges use a basic mathematical formula. The exact calculation differs county to county, but the basic concept remains the same.

For a complete breakdown on the local rules governing temporary payment amounts, click here.

Permanent Spousal Support

The courts in California use their own discretion when deciding spousal support. When the judge's final decision is made, he or she will use the factors in California Family Code section 4320 as a guideline.

Among those considerations, a judge will look at the following factors:

- The length of the marriage

- Living expenses and needs

- Standard of living and what each person contributes

- The age and health of both parties

- Debts, properties, and assets

- Educational expense considerations, and if help was provided by one person to another

- If there were any instances of domestic violence

- If either person's career or job was impacted by unemployment or home care needs

- Taxes, as they relate to the spousal support payments

Finally, after spousal support is decided by the judge, it becomes "part of the final divorce or legal separation judgment."

Don't go through this complicated matter alone. Always work with and experienced and trusted CA attorney to help guide you through the alimony process.

For more information on how we can help you with your legal matters, please contact us today.