Spousal Support


In California, family courts have the authority to award spousal support (alimony). Spousal support is the money the court can order the higher wage earner to pay to the other spouse each month. There are two types of spousal support orders that a court may render – pendente lite (temporary) and final (permanent). The amount of money for each of these two types of spousal support is derived differently as they each serve a different purpose.

Temporary spousal support is typically based on a mathematical formula. Generally, the guideline for temporary spousal support is 40% of the higher wage earner’s income, less 50% of the other party’s income. Temporary spousal support is intended to maintain the status quo of marital living conditions as close as possible until a final division of marital estate.

Unlike temporary spousal support, the amount of final or permanent spousal support is not determined by using a formula. In evaluating whether the requesting party is entitled to permanent spousal support, and if so, in what amount and for what duration, the court must consider several factors, set forth in Family Code Section 4320, such as the length of marriage, the employment status of the parties, the size of the estate to be divided, the age and health of the parties, the income and earning capacity of the spouses and the marital standard of living.

Either party can ask the court to change (modify) the spousal support amount if there is a significant change in either or both parties’ circumstances. 

Contact The Law Office of Jasmine Davaloo to discuss your case whether you wish to seek or defend against a request for spousal support, or if you wish to modify an existing spousal support order.