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Things you should know about spousal support in California

Divorce is an emotionally trying, stressful time that can be exacerbated by splitting assets and determining child and spousal support amounts. In California, one domestic partner or spouse may be required by the court to pay partner support or spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony. To determine partner or spousal support, there must be an open court case. This must be one of two things: a domestic violence restraining order or a legal separation, annulment or divorce.

The judge may also order that temporary support be paid as the case is settling. The amount of alimony or spousal support is based on a long list of factors. Some of them include the following:

  •          How long the partnership or marriage lasted
  •          What is required for partners to maintain the same quality of life they had while being married
  •          The amount that each person can pay
  •          Health and age of both parties
  •          Property and debts of each party
  •          Whether a job would make it hard for either partner to care for children

Spousal or partner support is part of the legal separation judgement or final divorce. Another thing that may affect the amount of alimony is federal tax laws. According to CNBC, in divorce cases filed after Dec. 31, 2018, the deduction changes. Previously, the person paying the alimony could use the money as a tax deduction, but the new tax law changes things. In the new law, the person receiving alimony does not pay taxes on it, but the person paying cannot use it as a tax deduction. In California, this can mean up to a 50 percent change for those paying alimony.

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