Spousal Support in California
A divorce or separation is a difficult and complex legal process. There are many different interests that must be addressed (spouses, children, dependants) and one of the most contentious issues is spousal support. In general, spousal support requires one spouse to pay a certain amount of money to the other spouse. However, due to a variety of personal (or legal) reasons, determining the structure of that support can be one of the hardest parts of going through a divorce. While this article provides some brief outlines, it is highly recommended that spouses consult an experienced lawyer prior to embarking on the process.
How spousal support is structured
First, it is important to point out that spousal support can only be requested through a legal process. Any other legal arrangements aside, if a person breaks up with their boyfriend (or any partner not through marriage or domestic partnership) that person cannot demand that their now ex-boyfriend pays them money. Instead, it has to be a part of a legal case, like a divorce or separation.
In some cases, a spouse will require support from their married partner prior to the finalization of the divorce case. To remedy this, the court can approve a temporary support plan, which is determined based on a standard calculation. However, once a final settlement is reached, it is the final support that moves forward.
In order to determine spousal support, there are a variety of factors and contexts to consider. The settlement of support isn’t cut and dry and will require careful legal strategies. Some of the factors that are considered include looking at the duration of the marriage, debts, standard of living, taxes and more. Given that all families are different, spousal support can also take many different forms. Moreover, the spousal support must be continued until an agreed upon date as otherwise there are penalties for not paying.