Spousal Support

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Spousal Support Attorneys

Spousal support is financial support paid by, or to, your spouse. Spousal Support is meant to help an economically disadvantaged spouse continue to enjoy a similar standard of living after the marriage ends. In most cases, the spouse who earns a higher income is ordered to pay spousal support to the other spouse. Whether you are seeking spousal support or if you think you may be responsible for spousal support, our Santa Clara, Sacramento and Monterey County spousal support lawyers can represent your best interests in the courts so you get a fair judgment.


The goal of spousal support in California is to allow the party who gets spousal support to be self-supporting within a ‘reasonable period” of time. For marriages that lasted less than ten years, a “reasonable period” is considered to be half of the length of the marriage. However, the judge is not limited by this and may order support for a shorter or longer period of time.


The judge will consider certain factors to determine a fair spousal support award. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The extent to which the earning capacity of you and your spouse is sufficient to maintain the standard of living that was established during the marriage while considering:
    • The marketable skills a person has;
    • The time and cost required to get the necessary education or training to develop those marketable skills;
    • How much the present or future earning capacity may have been restricted based on periods of unemployment during the marriage for the purpose taking care of household duties;
  • The amount that one spouse contributed to the education, training, career position, or a license of the higher earning spouse;
  • The ability of the payor spouse to pay spousal support, considering his/her earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living;
  • The needs of each spouse based upon the standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The obligations and assets of you and your spouse, including non-marital property;
  • The length of the marriage;

If the person requesting spousal support has been criminally convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, felony domestic violence, or a violent sexual felony against his/her spouse within a certain timeframe, this will affect whether or not the judge awards him/her spousal support.

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