What Is The Difference Between Spousal Support and Alimony?

Divorce is a complicated and overwhelming process. The question of alimony often arises and can cause more challenges. Here is what you need to know about alimony in the state of California.

What is Spousal Support

Spousal support and alimony are the same thing. During a divorce, the court may order one spouse to pay support to the other. The support is paid until a date specified by the court order, the death of one of the spouses, or the person receiving the support remarries. 

California has four different types of spousal support, defined by how long they last and their purpose. They are:

1. Rehabilitative Support

Rehabilitative support gives unemployed spouses the time and financial assistant needed to become self-supporting.

2. Temporary Support

Temporary support addresses financial concerns during divorce proceedings when the couple has joint bills and expenses and separate living costs.

3. Lump-sum Support

Lump-sum support is the only type of spousal support not paid monthly. One spouse pays the other a fixed amount up front to avoid the long-term requirement of monthly payments. 

4. Permanent Support

Permanent support continues until the recipient dies or remarries.

How Support is Calculated

How support is calculated may depend upon the type of support. Temporary support, including rehabilitative support, is usually determined by a formula in local courts. However, permanent support is dependent upon a court’s local rules and a variety of factors.

When deciding on the amount of spousal support, judges must consider the following:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The needs of each spouse based on the standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s earnings and ability to maintain their standard of living
  • If a spouse must now have a job and care for children of the marriage
  • The age and health of both spouses
  • Debts or property
  • If one spouse assisted the other in receiving an education, training, career, or professional license
  • If there was domestic violence in the marriage
  • If a spouse had a career affected by unemployment or childcare
  • The tax impact of spousal support

Now You Know

If you are currently going through a divorce and are worried about spousal support, contact an experienced divorce attorney today. They can ensure that you receive the right amount of support or fight to prevent you from paying.

San Diego residents should contact Shorb & Connor APC, a San Diego based family law firm. Their qualified lawyers can help you achieve the outcome you deserve in your divorce.

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