How is spousal or partner support calculated in California?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2020 | Support

While facing a divorce, you may have questions regarding either partner or spousal support payments. It is common to wonder how the courts calculate alimony payments and what the difference is between a temporary and permanent order. 

Keep reading for more information on how the California Courts deal with spousal or partner support. 

A court case must be ongoing for temporary support 

According to the California Courts website, in order for a partner or spousal support to take effect, there needs to be a court case. This can either be a domestic violence restraining order or divorce, legal separation or annulment. You can ask for this support to take effect while your case is ongoing. This is a temporary order. Once your case becomes final, the amount of support ordered is a permanent order. For a temporary order, a formula is generally used to calculate the initial amount. 

The final support amount is not based on a formula 

When the judge makes his or her decision for the permanent support order, a formula is not used. The judge will review several factors to come up with the support amount, including the following. 

  • How long the domestic partnership or marriage lasted 
  • The needs of each person based on their standard of living during the marriage or domestic partnership 
  • What each person is able to pay to uphold their standard of living 
  • Debts and property 
  • The age and health of both parties 
  • Whether there was domestic violence involved 
  • Whether having a job would make it difficult to care for the children 

While this list is not exhaustive, it includes the bulk of what a judge considers while calculating the final amount.