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Types of Spousal Support in California

person putting money in an envelope next to a gavel

When you finalize your California divorce, you may be dealing with spousal support. Also referred to as alimony, spousal support is meant to help support one spouse who does not have the means to become financially independent during or immediately following a divorce. It is essential to understand the five types that may be awarded.

Alimony Pendente Lite

This alimony is meant to be temporary. Usually, it is awarded before the divorce is settled. The money is used to pay daily expenses, including attorney costs.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is paid for a prolonged period of time from one spouse to another. However, in time, the payment amount may be altered or reduced. Once the spouse who receives the payments begins cohabitating with a new partner, permanent alimony may be terminated.

Alimony in Gross

This kind of alimony is paid in a lump sum. The remitting spouse makes a single payment. Usually, this type of support is ordered in cases where one spouse pays the other for a share of property.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony provides support for a set period of time. It is meant to offer help to a spouse to have assistance while trying to acquire a degree or other career skills. Many times, it is awarded to a spouse who made sacrifices in the marriage to support the other's career. Also, it may be awarded to the spouse who gave up working to take care of the children.

Reimbursement Alimony

This type of alimony is less common. It acts as a reimbursement to a husband or a wife for contributions made to help the other spouse better their career. A common example of when reimbursement alimony is awarded is when one spouse pays for another's education or stops working to support their spouse better their career.

How the Court Determines Alimony in California

There are many factors that the courts use to determine alimony in California.

  • Age of each spouse
  • Health and physical condition of each spouse
  • Financial condition of each spouse
  • Duration of marriage

Concerning the financial factors, the income and earning potential of each person is essential. This dictates the amount of money that will be awarded. Also, the previous standard of living throughout the marriage is considered as well.

When the person who is ordered to pay support fails to submit the money, the other spouse may take action. If the paying person cannot afford the amount, a modification must be filed. It is possible to have the payment lowered or terminated.

For more information about spousal support in California, contact the experts at Marmolejo Law, APC.