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How does California determine alimony?

| Apr 20, 2021 | Alimony |

Alimony, or spousal support, gives you the opportunity to establish a separate household and become financially independent when facing divorce. Typically, these payments provide the spouse who was not the breadwinner with a level playing field so he or she can pursue education and career opportunities.

Review the factors that influence the determination of spousal support for couples divorcing in California if you worry about your ability to support yourself during and after separation.

Spousal support considerations

When you request spousal support in your divorce petition, the court will review each person’s ability to live separately from a financial perspective. Considerations include education level, current and future career prospects, current and future income, physical and mental health, age, and how each of you contributed to the marriage (including non-financial contributions). The judge will also look at the standard of living you and your spouse maintained when together and consider instances of domestic violence if applicable.

Length of spousal support

California typically awards spousal support payments for approximately 50% of the duration of the marriage. With this guideline, if your marriage lasted six years and you left the workforce to raise children while your spouse worked, the court may order alimony payments for about three years. If your marriage lasted longer than a decade, you can potentially receive long-term spousal support.

The state also recognizes temporary spousal support arrangements. Each county has established its own guidelines for this calculation. Divorcing couples who live in Placer County can refer to the local court rules for more information about seeking alimony in your specific situation.