If you have concerns about supporting yourself after divorce, you may be a candidate for spousal support in California. Sometimes called alimony, spousal support consists of payments from one spouse to the other for a designated time period.
Review the rules about alimony in California to inform a plan for your financial future.
Types of spousal support
Temporary spousal support lasts during the separation until the divorce becomes final. At that point, you may qualify for either rehabilitative or permanent alimony. Rehabilitative support, the most common type, helps you bridge the gap to financial independence and has an end date. Courts rarely award permanent support unless you had a very long marriage and cannot work because of age, disability or caring for a loved one who has special needs.
Factors in spousal support
Each California county has its own method of calculating temporary support. When determining post-divorce alimony, the judge will consider a range of factors such as:
- How long the marriage lasted
- The standard of living you shared while married
- The economic circumstances of both you and your estranged spouse
- Your work-based income, including whether you cannot work because you care for young children
- Whether you contributed to your spouse’s education or career
- Your age and health status along with that of your spouse
- Each person’s separate and shared debts and assets
- Any history of domestic violence by either person
- How spousal support will affect each person’s tax liability
If you have a valid California prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the court will typically abide by its terms when deciding on spousal support.