What Will a Judge Consider with California Spousal Support?

Californians who are getting a divorce might have concerns about their finances for after the case is completed. One spouse might have been the breadwinner with the other spouse functioning as a stay-at-home spouse and parent. It could be that while both worked, one earned significantly more than the other. This is where it is important to consider spousal support – also referred to as alimony. For those in the middle of a divorce, understanding how spousal support is handled is imperative to both the prospective paying spouse and the receiving spouse. There are factors that will be considered when determining how much will be paid and for how long.

When deciding, the judge will assess what the spouses can earn to maintain the standard of living that resembles what they had while married. The judge will examine the following: the marketable skills that the spouse who will receive support has; if there is a job market that fit in with those skills; how much time it will take and what it will cost to be educated and trained to have greater marketability to find work; and the extent to which the supported spouse was hindered by being unemployed while married and handling stay-at-home functions.

The amount of time the couple was married is also a factor when deciding the duration for which spousal support will be paid. The foundation of spousal support is so the receiving spouse will eventually be able to self-support. The law calls this a “reasonable period of time.” Its definition can vary. It could be half the time the couple was married. However, according to the law, the judge has the right to make a decision that fits in with the circumstances. There is no iron clad set of rules that must be followed. If, however, there was a marriage that lasted for 10 or more years, it is viewed as long-term. Then the judge might not have an end date for the support.

Spousal support can be a contentious issue for both sides. When there is a concern about how spousal support will be awarded and for how long, it is important to have legal help to present the case. A law firm that is experienced in divorce, spousal support, property division and all other aspects of family law can help with a case and should be contacted as soon as the decision to end a marriage has been made.

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