One major aspect of every divorce is the subject of spousal support, which is also known as alimony. Certainly many discussions, negotiations, and yes, disagreements and arguments, may take place on this very subject. But not always. Many divorces are amicable, and in California, there are specific statutes that apply to the determination of permanent spousal support, when the court is making that decision.
Here is an abbreviated summary of these factors:
- What is the earning capacity of each party (spouse) in terms of maintaining the standard of living established while they were married?
- What marketable skills, education, and training does the party have, or what is the need and cost of acquiring these skills to become more marketable for employment?
- What is the comparative extent of the party’s employment time versus the time spent on domestic duties?
- Did the party contribute to the other party’s obtaining an education, training, career or license?
- What is the ability of the supporting party to pay support to the other (supported) party, based on earning capacity, income, assets and standard of living?
- What are the needs of each party regarding already established standard of living?
- What are the financial obligations and assets, including community and separate property, of each party?
- How long were the parties married?
- If the supported party has dependent children to care for, how will that affect the party’s ability to work?
- What are the ages and health issues of both parties?
- Is there any documented evidence/history of violence or domestic violence between the two parties?
- What is the tax situation of each party, and what immediate tax considerations apply?
- Relative to each other, what hardships does each party have, if any?
- Based on the length of their marriage, what would be a “reasonable period of time” for the supported party to (going forward) achieve financial independence?
- Has the supporting party had any criminal convictions for spousal abuse?
That is a lot of information to digest for our readers as well as for purposes of discussion; it is not a simple “formula” by any means. What’s more, along with this list of factors, the court may take into consideration other pertinent information that comes to bear upon the determination of spousal support.
While some divorces are amicable and proceed smoothly from beginning to end, some are not, for a variety of reasons that do not necessarily include conflicting spouses. If you have questions about spousal support, you would be wise to consult a knowledgeable family law attorney.
As Orange County’s premier family law specialists, the attorneys at Dinnebier & Demmerle can provide answers to your questions and concerns, clarify and establish your legal rights, and represent you in court. If you would like more information about California divorce, spousal support statutes, or any other aspect of California family law, please call to set up a consultation. We’re ready to move forward when you are! Just contact us in Tustin at 714-838-1099.