California Alimony Laws and Spousal Support

California Alimony Issues & Resources

California Alimony

California alimony or spousal support may be awarded to either party.  A California Court may award  alimony or spousal support in any amount and for any period of time that it deems just and reasonable based on the standard of living achieved during the marriage. The factors considered in awarding spousal support or alimony are: 
  • whether the spouse seeking support is the custodian of a child whose circumstances make it appropriate for that spouse not to seek outside employment;

  • the time necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable the spouse to find appropriate employment, and that spouse's future earning capacity;

  • the standard of living established during the marriage;

  • the duration of the marriage;

  • the comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market;

  • the needs and obligations of each spouse;

  • the contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other spouse;

  • the age and health of the spouses;

  • the physical and emotional conditions of the spouses;

  • the tax consequences to each spouse;

  • the ability of the supporting spouse to pay, taking into account that spouse's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living;

  • the balance of hardships to each party; and 

  • any other factor the court deems just and equitable. 

Generally, the Court cannot consider marital fault in determining alimony.  The goal in awarding alimony or spousal support is that the recipient spouse be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. 

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