What Are the Different Types of Spousal Support in California?

Spousal support, or alimony, is based on several factors. The duration and allotment of alimony may depend entirely on the circumstances of each case. Determining the outcome of a spousal support case is often left to the court to decide.

To qualify for alimony, you must attend a court hearing This can involve a divorce, legal separation, annulment, or a domestic violence restraining order. You may request spousal support at any time during the proceedings in the form of a temporary spousal support order or temporary partner support order. Support can also be a part of the final divorce or separation judgment. If you request alimony after your case is finalized, it becomes long-term spousal or partner support.

Different Types of Spousal Support

There are four main types of alimony offered in the state of California. Each type is determined by a set of factors that cover the financial, emotional, and potentially criminal aspects of the marriage or partnership in addition to the duration of the relationship.

Types of Spousal Support in California:

  • Temporary support
  • Rehabilitative support
  • Reimbursement support
  • Permanent support

Each type of support meets a need on behalf of the spouse/partner receiving alimony. You can request temporary support while the divorce process is in progress. Rehabilitative support gives the lower-earning spouse the financial resources to gain the education necessary to increase their marketable skills. This helps to increase the probability of the spouse or partner advancing in their career. Alimony to repay a partner who helped finance the other’s education or training during the marriage/partnership is called reimbursement support. If the couple was married for a long time, they might qualify for permanent spousal support, particularly when a spouse cannot become self-supporting.

California understands the uniqueness and complexity of each case. As such, every case for divorce or separation is met with careful consideration. The judge will review the case and look into the circumstances to make the best decision for both parties. Read on for more information about the factors that will be considered in your case.

What Factors Will Be Considered in My Case?

The judge will base their decision on three main qualifiers: earning and standard of living during your marriage/partnership, length of the marriage/partnership, and domestic violence. The judge will determine an amount based on what each spouse or partner needs to maintain a standard of living comparable to what they had during their relationship.

When looking at earnings, the judge will evaluate the following:

  • Marketable skills of the spouse/partner getting support
  • The job market for those skills
  • Time and cost of education necessary for the spouse/partner to develop marketable skills
  • Earning capacity of the spouse/partner during the marriage or partnership

The information gleaned from this assessment helps the judge see if the partner or spouse receiving support provides for themselves and any dependents independent of the combined income and community property.

The length of the marriage or partnership is related to the duration of the spousal/partner support. California law says that a reasonable period for support can be around one-half the length of the marriage/partnership. If the relationship was a decade or more, the judge might choose to extend the support indefinitely. Periods of separation are also taken into account.

If there are any documented domestic violence instances, the judge will consider the emotional distress inflicted on the abused and abuser. Typically, there is a presumption that if the spouse or partner receiving support is the abuser, they will not receive alimony if there are criminal convictions for domestic violence.

Do You Have Questions About Spousal Support?

Alimony is challenging to calculate without the support of an experienced attorney. Every case has unique circumstances that can create complicated problems when determining spousal support. Our firm has a long-standing reputation in the Oceanside and Del Mar areas. With a California Certified Specialist in Family Law Trial Advocacy, you will have experience on your side when you work with our team. We can review your case and determine a strategy based on your circumstances and needs.

Don’t hesitate to call Palmer Rodak & Associates at (760) 573-2223 or schedule a free case evaluation today.