In California, How is Spousal Support Calculated?
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In California, How is Spousal Support Calculated?

Divorce / Family Law

Anat Resnik

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In California, How is Spousal Support Calculated?

How Much Will I Pay?

Under California law the purpose of temporary spousal support is to preserve the financial status quo to the greatest extent possible. A court may order temporary spousal support in any amount after considering the needs of the spouse requesting it and the other spouse’s ability to pay. In practice, however, courts commonly use formulas for calculating temporary support, such as the Santa Clara County formula, which arrives at a figure by subtracting 50% of the lower-earner’s net income from 40% of the higher earner’s, with adjustments for tax consequences and child support payments. Parents of dependent children can obtain a rough estimate of what temporary spousal support payments might look like along with child support payments-which follow very strict guidelines-by accessing the support calculator at the California Department of Child Support.

The purpose of support after a final divorce is to assist a supported spouse in maintaining a standard of living close to the marital standard; however the goal is for the spouse to become self-supporting to the greatest extent possible. Before ordering this kind of support, a court will consider the extent to which each spouse’s earning capacity is sufficient to maintain the marital standard of living, taking into account:
the marketable skills of the supported spouse,
the job market for those skills,

any time or expense the supported spouse requires to acquire education or training for employment or enhanced employability,

and the extent to which periods of unemployment due to domestic duties during the marriage have impaired the supported spouse’s present or future earning capacity.

The court will also consider any other factors that may be relevant to the fairness of an award, including:

the extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the other spouse’s attainment of education, training, professional licensing or career advancement,

the ability of the supporting spouse to pay support, taking into account earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living,

the needs of each party based on the marital standard of living,

each spouse’s obligations and assets, including separate property,

the duration of the marriage,

the ability of a spouse who is also a custodial parent to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children,

each spouse’s age and health,

any documented history of domestic violence by either spouse,

the immediate and specific tax consequences to each spouse,

the balance of the hardships to each spouse,

and the goal that the supported spouse will be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time-presumed to be one-half the length of a marriage unless the marriage was longer than 10 years.

California courts don’t ordinarily consider conduct in determining support, but a court won’t usually award support to a spouse who has acted extremely violently toward the other spouse.

If you have a question regarding Family Law in California please contact us at (818) 926-4420 or visit the Family Law section on our website at Law Offices of Anat Resnik. Call today and we will connect you with Anat Resnik, an experienced, aggressive, affordable Divorce and Family Law Attorney in California. After you have spoken with our California Family Law attorney, we can schedule you a free face to face appointment to discuss your circumstances. If you have questions or are considering any aspect of filing for Divorce, a Paternity issues, Child Custody and Visitation, Spousal Support & Alimony, etc. we can help! Call us now at(818) 926-4420. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with any and all family law needs.

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