btn_nextAlimony and Spousal Support

When a cou­ple sep­a­rates, one of the par­ties may need help pay­ing the bills until the divorce or dis­so­lu­tion is final. This is called tem­po­rary spousal sup­port or tem­po­rary part­ner sup­port, and is often referred to as “alimony.” If the par­ties can­not agree how to pay their joint bills, one par­ty may ask for a court hear­ing so that the judge can decide how it is to be done. The court can then issue an order, usu­al­ly called a “tem­po­rary spousal sup­port order” or a “tem­po­rary part­ner sup­port order,” which will require one par­ty to pay mon­ey to the oth­er par­ty while the case is pend­ing.

When the judge makes a final order in the divorce, the judge may order pay­ment of alimony. Accord­ing to the Cal­i­for­nia Fam­i­ly Code, the judge must con­sid­er the fol­low­ing fac­tors:

  • The length of the mar­riage or domes­tic part­ner­ship
  • What each per­son needs
  • What each per­son pays or can pay (includ­ing earn­ings and earn­ing capac­i­ty)
  • Whether hav­ing a job would make it too hard to take care of any chil­dren
  • The age and health of both peo­ple
  • Debts and prop­er­ty
  • Whether a spouse or domes­tic part­ner helped the oth­er get an edu­ca­tion, train­ing, career, or pro­fes­sion­al license
  • Whether there was domes­tic vio­lence in the mar­riage or domes­tic part­ner­ship
  • Whether a spouse’s or domes­tic partner’s career was affect­ed by unem­ploy­ment, or by tak­ing care of the chil­dren or home
  • The tax impact of spousal sup­port.

Cal­cu­lat­ing spousal or domes­tic part­ner sup­port, and the relat­ed tax issues, are dif­fi­cult and com­plex issues.