How do courts determine spousal support?
Depending on your divorce situation in California, spousal support may require you or your ex to contribute a designated amount of money each month for alimony payments. Regardless of which end of the negotiations you are on, understanding what impacts a court’s decision in determining spousal support is helpful to know.
Your awareness of the factors that influence decisions related to alimony is important so you know under which conditions you can request a modification to the court order if circumstances change.
Deciding alimony requirements
According to the California Courts, The Judicial Branch of California, one of the first things a judge will look at is the length of your marriage. They will carefully assess the standard of living maintained throughout your marriage and who were the primary financiers. In situations where you were the sole caretaker of shared children or a homemaker, consideration will account for how likely it is that you find a job outside of the home. This involves a deeper look at your finances, your marketability in the job market, your skillset, your necessity for continuing education and your earning capacity among other things.
If abuse of any kind was part of your marriage, courts may require your ex to pay for ongoing therapy and medical care resulting from abuse you suffered. Additionally, orders to provide financial support to your abusive partner are rare.
Modifications to your agreement
When you experience significant changes in your career or earning capabilities, get remarried, suffer a debilitating health problem or lose your job, these are all valid reasons to request reconsideration of a court order to pay alimony. Requesting modification is a much smarter choice than ignoring the problem and avoiding payment altogether.