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3 factors California courts consider for spousal support

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Divorce |

When a marriage ends in divorce, one of the most important issues to resolve is spousal support, also known as alimony. As you prepare for your divorce, you might wonder what to expect from the alimony determination.

In California, courts consider various factors when determining the amount and duration of spousal support.

1. Earning capacity and needs of each spouse

One of the primary factors that California courts consider is the earning capacity and needs of each spouse. The court will look at each spouse’s current income, as well as their potential to earn income in the future based on their education, skills and work experience. The court will also consider each spouse’s necessary expenses, such as housing, food and healthcare.

2. Duration of the marriage

The length of the marriage is another factor in determining spousal support. In California, marriages lasting less than 10 years are short-term, while those lasting more than 10 years are long-term. For short-term marriages, spousal support is typically granted for a period equal to half the length of the marriage. For long-term marriages, the court may order support for a longer period or even indefinitely, depending on the circumstances.

3. Contributions to the marriage

California courts also consider each spouse’s contributions to the marriage when determining spousal support. This includes both financial and non-financial contributions. For example, if one spouse stayed home to raise children or support the other spouse’s career, the court may consider this a significant contribution to the marriage and factor it into the spousal support decision.

By understanding these factors, individuals can better prepare for the potential outcomes of their spousal support case.