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How is spousal support calculated during divorce?

Spousal support can be an area of concern during divorce which is why it is helpful for divorcing couples to be familiar with how spousal support is determined. Different factors are taken into account when determining spousal support in California and either spouse can make a request for spousal support. Knowing what those factors are is useful.

Factors considered when determining spousal support

Factors that are evaluated when a request for spousal support has been made include:

  • The length of the marriage or domestic partnership;
  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage or domestic partnership and the needs of the spouses or domestic partners based on that;
  • The ability of each of the spouses or domestic partners to pay based on their earnings and earning capacity to maintain the standard of living of the spouses or domestic partners;
  • The impact of working outside of the home on the need to care for children;
  • The ages and health of both spouses or domestic partners;
  • The property and debts of the divorcing spouses or domestic partners;
  • If one of the spouses or domestic partners had their career impacted by unemployment in order to remain in the home to care for the household or children;
  • The tax impact of any spousal support award; and
  • If there was any domestic violence in the marriage or domestic partnership.

These factors are used to determine if an award of spousal support will be granted, for how long and for how much which are each important concerns for both the spouse requesting spousal support and the spouse who would be paying spousal support to understand. For that reason, both recipient and paying spouses should be familiar with how spousal support is determined in California so they can prioritize their interests as they approach the divorce and property division process.