Alimony/Spousal Support

Helping You Move Forward With Your Life

Spousal support, or alimony as it is also called, prevents a spouse who does not work outside the home or who is the lower wage earner from being left in difficult financial circumstances by a divorce. In California, there are two types of spousal support:

California has two types of spousal support:

  • Temporary: Also known as pendente lite (or “pending the litigation”) support, the purpose of temporary spousal support is to maintain the status quo as the couple goes through the divorce process.
  • Permanent: The duration of spousal support is dependent on the length of the marriage.  For “short-term marriages” (less than 10 years), support will not extend past one-half the length of the marriage.  For “long-term marriages” (10 years or more), the court will typically not set a concrete end date. A permanent support order may be modified if the circumstances of the payer or the recipient change significantly.

When ordering permanent spousal support, the court will consider the standard of living the couple enjoyed while married, the respective financial needs of each party, and the high-earning spouse’s ability to pay.

With so many factors being taken into account, spousal support can be a complicated part of the divorce process. The family law team at Entrust Legal will help you understand the nature and consequences of spousal support so that your requests and decisions are informed ones.