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Obtaining Spousal Support During Your Divorce Proceeding In California

When a couple decides to divorce, one of the most important issues that needs to be decided is spousal support. Spousal support, which is also commonly known as ‘Alimony,’ is a payment that is made by one spouse to another spouse most commonly after the divorce. However, spousal support may also be paid during the process of divorce. In California, temporary spousal support is often awarded during the divorce proceeding to the spouse that requires support in order for the receiving spouse to maintain their standard of living until the divorce is finalized.


The Purpose of Temporary Spousal Support

California Family Code section 3600(a) states that the court may order “either spouse to pay any amount that is necessary for the support of the other spouse” during the pendency of a divorce proceeding.


The purpose of temporary spousal support is to allow the receiving spouse to maintain the living conditions they were accustomed to during the marriage as closely as possible while the divorce proceedings are occurring. For example, if the parties lived modestly but contributed a substantial amount of their income to savings and investments, the court could set temporary support to be an amount that allows for that same level of savings and investments, which a California court discussed in Marriage of Winter (1992) 7 Ca.4th 1926, 1932.

Calculating Temporary Spousal Support

Since the purpose of temporary spousal support is to allow the party receiving support to maintain the standard of living that they were accustomed to during the marriage, the amount of temporary spousal support that is awarded is generally any amount that is based on the receiving party’s needs and the other party’s ability to pay.


In California, there is a formula that creates a guideline amount. Under the Santa Clara Formula, the amount of temporary spousal support that is awarded is 40% of the paying party’s net income minus 50% of the receiving party’s income.

Although there is a guideline formula, because temporary spousal support awards are determined based on a party’s need for support and the other party’s ability to pay for said support, the court has broad discretion to award an amount that it sees fit to support this need and ability.


Duration of Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary Spousal Support only last for the duration of the divorce proceedings. Therefore, an order for temporary spousal support is terminated when a judgment is issued. A Temporary Spousal Support order may also terminate by dismissal, by expiration under its own terms, if the receiving spouse remarries, or upon the death of either party.

Maintaining Your Standard of Living During Divorce Proceedings

At Harris & McKeown, we understand how stressful divorce proceedings can be. Having the ability to maintain the lifestyle you were accustomed to during your marriage may relieve some of the stress that comes with the divorce process. Our attorneys have been assisting clients in the Orange County area for over 10 years. If you are currently navigating the process of divorce in Orange County or its surrounding counties and would like to speak with an attorney about obtaining temporary spousal support, you may schedule a consultation appointment online here or by calling (949) 297-6529.



**DISCLAIMER**


THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND THIS GUIDE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE READER AND ITS AUTHOR. IF YOU HAVE LEGAL QUESTIONS, CONSULT WITH A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY.


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