Spousal support is intended to help with financial inequities that may be created during the divorce process because the divorce process aims for financial stability, as much as possible, for both spouses moving forward after their divorce. Either spouse can request spousal support during the divorce process which is why both spouses should be familiar with how spousal support awards are made.
Factors used to determine spousal support
In California, a host of factors are used to evaluate a request for spousal support. Factors that may be considered include:
- The ages, physical conditions and financial conditions of the divorcing spouses;
- The earning capabilities of the divorcing spouses;
- The employability of each of the spouses;
- Any contributions one spouse made to the other’s education and training;
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple during the marriage;
- The roles of the spouses during the marriage;
- The length of the marriage; and
- The ability of the paying spouses to pay spousal support and support themselves.
Different types of spousal support
There are primarily two different types of spousal support:
- Temporary spousal support: In some circumstances, spousal support may be awarded for a certain period of time such as during the divorce until a permanent award is made.
- Permanent spousal support: In some circumstances, spousal support may be awarded permanently subject to certain events potentially terminating the spousal support award that the couple should be familiar with. Spousal support awards are largely based on the income and tax obligations of the couple.
Spousal support can be a challenging issue during many divorces. For that reason, divorcing couples should be aware of how it is determined and understand the process whether they want to request or oppose a spousal support award.