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California Laws on Spousal Support

In California, spousal support (traditionally called alimony) is not mandatory, but can be sought in a divorce. The ultimate decision to award spousal support is within the discretion of the court. In deciding issues of spousal support, a judge listens to the arguments put forth by both sides, and makes the award based on the strength of the evidence.

Skilled attorneys can examine your situation in Santa Barbara & Santa Maria

The court considers many factors in making an award of spousal support. A skilled family law attorney can discuss your situation with you and help you understand how the laws on spousal support apply to you. Some factors that are considered in awarding spousal support include the following:

  • Age and health of the parties
  • Standard of living of the parties during the marriage
  • Length of the marriage
  • Needs of each spouse
  • Financial resources and debts of each spouse
  • Impact on the children if the caregiver parent must work
  • Contributions of each spouse to the education and career-building of the other spouse and in homemaking
  • Tax consequences
  • All sources of income available to each spouse

Explaining spousal support

Spousal support can be awarded on a temporary basis. For short-term marriages (those lasting less than ten years), spousal support generally is awarded for half the length of the marriage. For long-term marriages (those lasting at least ten years), no termination date is set. However, an application may be made to end, increase, or decrease support when circumstances change significantly. Valuation of assets is extremely important in divorce cases and our skilled Santa Barbara family law attorneys know how to protect your interests and help ensure that the fairest valuation is obtained.

A reliable attorney to protect your rights during and after your divorce

Do you have questions about spousal support? Do not hesitate to contact our Santa Barbara law firm about your situation.

Glenn L. Robertson focuses exclusively on handling family law matters throughout Santa Barbara County. He is certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization and is a member of the Santa Barbara Collaborative Law Group and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.


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