Spousal support, or alimony, is the amount of money the court orders the higher wage earning spouse to pay to the other spouse every month. Spousal support can be a temporary and/or a final order by the Court. Temporary spousal support is typically based on a formula. Generally, the guideline for temporary spousal support is 40% of the higher wage earner’s income, less 50% of the other party’s income.
A final or “permanent” order of spousal support can have a termination date or be ordered indefinitely. In short-term marriages, generally those that are less than 10 years in length, the court will usually order spousal support be paid only for a time period often equal to half the length of the marriage. In marriages of long duration, the court may order support indefinitely. A final spousal support order must be based on the factors contained in Family Code section 4320.
Either spouse can ask the judge to change the support amount if the situation changes. For more information on how to change a support order, click here.
A spouse can also ask the judge for help collecting (enforcing) a support order. For more information on how to enforce a support order, click here.
For more information on how spousal support is calculated, click here.
Child support is the amount of money the court will order one parent to pay the other parent each month for the support of a child. California has a formula for calculating child support called “guideline child support” which is calculated by using a computer program. The program bases its child support order on the income of both parties, the time each parent spends with the children, and other factors. Parties can always agree to a different amount of child support as long as the child’s needs are met. Our team can calculate a guideline child support order.
Child support orders generally last until a child turns 18, or until up to age 19 for a full-time high school student living at home.
If you would like more information, please call us to set up a consultation.