People often ask how the court determines a long term spousal support amount in a California divorce. The answer is rather straightforward, although the courts' decisions typically involve thoughtful evaluation. There are, however, factors that courts are required to consider when determining spousal support.
- Earning capacity of each party. Is it sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage?
- Each party's marketable skills.
- The market for each party's skills and talents.
- The estimated cost in time and money for the supported spouse to enhance his or her skills via education and training.
- Impact of unemployment periods of the supported spouse because the person managed domestic and household duties.
- The effect of the supported spouse contributions to the career, education, training or licensing of the supporting party, a primary area of examination by the court.
- The ability of the parties to pay spousal support.
- The spouse needs to maintain their previous standing of living, if it was reasonable.
- The ages and health of the parties.
- The duration of the party's marriage.
- Evidence of prior domestic violence incidents.
As you can see, the issue of determining spousal support can easily become complex and/or confusing. If you face any of these divorce issues, contact a Certified Family Law Specialist, Richard Ross Associates in Westlake Village. Richard, a member of the State Bar of California since 1979, has been helping clients navigate the troubled waters of California divorce law for over 30 years.