Mandatory Factors Considered for Long Term Spousal Support: Part 1

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.

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