Spousal support, also known as alimony is granted in a divorce when there is a disparity of income between spouses. Typically, the higher earning spouse would provide financial support to the lower earning spouse. If you are seeking spousal support, the family lawyers at the Law Firm of Grace Lea Chang, APC will vigorously advocate on your behalf to ensure that you and your family have the financial security you need. Conversely, if you are being asked to provide spousal support, we will safeguard against payments that are unreasonable and unfair.

Types of Spousal Support

In a California divorce, a judge may order temporary (“pendente lite”) or permanent spousal support. Temporary spousal support is paid to the lower earning spouse to help her/him maintain the status quo throughout the duration of the divorce proceedings. Permanent spousal support is payment made for a specified period of time after the divorce becomes final. This type of support is not necessarily “permanent” but rather  a way to help a spouse maintain a standard of living close to the marital standard and to ultimately help them become self-sufficient.  Every case is different, but the amount of spousal support is impacted by the length of the marriage. As a general rule, if your marriage lasted less than 10 years, spousal support would be awarded for half the length of the marriage.

How the California Courts Calculate Spousal Support 

The court will examine and consider several factors when determining a spousal support amount, some of which includes:

  • financial need of spouse seeking support; the ability of the other spouse to pay spousal support
  • the length of the marriage
  • age and health of each spouse
  • whether the career of a spouse was affected by unemployment, or by taking care of the children or home
  • income and the earning potential of both spouses

Modifying Spousal Support

Spousal support is not set in stone as people’s circumstances can change. the Law Firm of Grace Lea Chang, APC can help you seek a modification of the spousal support ordered in your marital agreement to suit your changing needs.