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How is spousal support determined in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2021 | Divorce |

During a marriage couples in the Sacramento area share a life together. They live in the same home, share the expenses, acquire property together, raise their children together and share other aspects of their life. How the couple earns their income can vary though. Even though they ultimately share it, one spouse may work and the other may stay home to care for young children. In other situations, even when both spouses work one may earn much more than the other one.

While it may not matter which spouse earns the money during the marriage, it does matter if the couple goes through a divorce. The spouse who did not work or did not earn as much money could be left in a very difficult financial position. They may not have enough money to pay for a lifestyle that they were accustomed to during the marriage. In these types of situations the spouse who earned the majority of the income may be required to pay spousal support to the one who did not earn as much.

Determination of the amount

The amount a spouse may receive and the length of time they may receive it varies though. There is no set formula that judges use to determine the amount and duration though. They analyze a number of factors to determine that. Those factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s current earnings and ability to earn more income
  • The health and age of each spouse
  • If there was domestic violence
  • If one spouse paused their employment to care for children
  • Other factors that help determine a spouse’s need and ability to pay

Each marriage in California is unique and as such each divorce will be unique as well. Whether a spouse will receive spousal support as well as the amount and duration of the spousal support is a very fact-specific determination and is made based on the unique circumstances of the marriage. Experienced attorneys understand the different factors used to determine spousal support and may be a useful resource.