People going through a divorce should know their spousal support rights and obligations. Spousal support is gender-neutral, and you may be required to pay or receive alimony from your former spouse during or after the separation. What is alimony, and how much will you be obligated to pay or earn? Consult a Newport Beach divorce attorney if you need help and support comprehending alimony or filling out court forms.
What is Alimony?
Alimony, also recognized as spousal support, is a monetary fee paid by one spouse to the other after or during separation. When determining support amounts in California, most judges follow a standard formula. Nevertheless, several factors are considered when determining how much alimony you are supposed to receive or must pay.
In California, there are three types of spousal support. Spousal support can be temporary, rehabilitative, or permanent. When determining spousal support, the court must consider controlling statute 4320. Nevertheless, the courts have a great deal of leeway in determining the factors that influence how much help one receives.
Alimony is needed to make the shift from a two-income to a one-income household less stressful. While it may appear unfair, the aim is to get both parties on a solid financial footing as soon as possible. As a result, the court will decide on spousal support after determining child support.
Factors to Consider When Determining Temporary Alimony Support
In California, the courts consider four factors when determining temporary alimony support: earnings, holdings, expenses, and loans.
To ascertain a total sum for spousal support under the other types of spousal support available in California, the court will consider each spouse’s income as well as the following factors:
- The earning potential of each spouse
- If a spouse made a significant contribution to the other spouse’s academic or professional license during the marital relationship.
- The earning capacity, achieved and unearned income, funds, and living standards of the paying spouse as required to finance spousal support
- Loans and investments of each spouse, which include separate property
- The duration of the marriage
- The ability of the endorsed spouse to find work without interfering with the care of either party’s underage children
- The age and wellness of each party
- Whether the spouse has a record of family abuse
- Whether each party will face tax consequences
- The distribution of hardships to each party
- The goal of the recipient spouse becoming self-sufficient within a reasonable time frame
- Any criminal record of an abusive spouse
- Any other factors considered essential by the court (CA FAM 4320.)
How Long Does Support Last?
A soliciting spouse can seek temporary spousal assistance as the divorce is filed. Temporary relief ends when the judge finalizes the divorce. An interim support award does not guarantee a new, ongoing reparative, or perpetual protective order.
The rehabilitative and permanent support timeframe is determined by the factors listed above and at the judge’s discretion. Rehabilitative spousal support is typically only available for as long as needed for the supported spouse to obtain the appropriate training to enter the workforce. If the endorsed wife or husband remarries or either party dies, rehabilitative or permanent support will end.
Child support and custody of any children between divorcing parties is another factor in spousal support.
The general rule for determining alimony is to take 35% to 40% of the higher-earning spouse’s income and deduct 40% to 50% of the lower-earning spouse’s income. It will differ depending on which county you live in.