Spousal support can be a contentious issue during a divorce which is why it is valuable to understand how spousal support is determined during divorce. Spousal support refers to a payment made by one former spouse to the other following divorce.

Because either spouse can request spousal support, it helpful for divorcing spouses to know what factors are taken into account when determining an award of spousal support. Factors that are considered when calculating spousal support include the length of the marriage or domestic partnership; the needs of each of the spouses based on the standard of living established during the marriage; the earnings and earning capacity of each of the spouses and their ability to pay; the age and health of both spouses; the debts and property of each of the spouses; and the tax impact of a spousal support award.

In addition, the family law court will also consider if it would be too hard for one spouse to take care of the children and maintain a job; if the career of one spouse was impacted by unemployment or caring for children in the home; if one of the spouses helped the other obtain an education, training, career or professional license; and if there was any domestic violence during the marriage.

These factors will be used to determine if spousal support will be awarded, how much will be awarded and for how long it will be awarded. Spousal support can be a challenging part of any divorce to negotiate which is why divorcing couples should understand how spousal support is determined in California.