Spousal Support

Understanding Spousal Support


Whenever a couple chooses to divorce, spousal support is a significant concern, and often a source of consternation. Spousal support, also known as alimony, is when one spouse or partner must provide monetary support to the other spouse or partner, by court order, in order to help maintain the “standard of living” both individuals had become accustomed to during the marriage.

In the state of California, the length of time one spouse will have to pay spousal support varies. The court may order spousal support to be paid only while the divorce is pending, or for a predetermined amount of time following the divorce. In some instances, the court will make a spousal support order that does not terminate (considered to be long-term or permanent spousal support).

In San Diego, there are many factors that the court will consider when determining spousal support, including the length of the marriage, the needs of each party and each party’s income, the age and health of each spouse, whether one spouse contributed to the other’s education, how much of the household one spouse manages, the financial resources and debts and other liabilities of each party, and more.

Spousal Support Change


After the court decides on the amount and duration of spousal support payments, this can only be changed if there is a material change in circumstances – for example, the spouse who needed the spousal support begins to make more money or the spouse receiving support moves in with a significant other. Our San Diego-based family law attorneys can work with you on modifications to child and spousal support orders.

In order for you to receive the support you are entitled to by law, or to ensure that you do not need to pay undue spousal support, our family law attorneys will carefully evaluate your particular situation and work with you to ensure that the support you are either paying or receiving best serves you and your family.