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If you are unsure about how to support yourself financially after divorce, you can request spousal support in California. Spousal support, sometimes called alimony, can help bridge the gap to a single-income household.

Before moving forward with a divorce filing or making an agreement, understand the laws about alimony in California.

Factors determining support

If you request alimony in your divorce petition, the judge will look at:

  • Each of your income, education and job training
  • How each of you contributed to the household, including both financial contributions and contributions such as cooking and child care
  • Any history of abandonment, violence or abuse
  • The standard of living documented during your marriage
  • The health status and age of each of you

Spousal support calculations

California judges usually order spousal support for 50% of the length of your marriage if you stayed married for less than 10 years. If you had a longer marriage, you can ask the court for a prolonged alimony arrangement. Either way, spousal support provides the opportunity for you to seek training for a better-paying job.

Each California county has temporary support guidelines. These regulations may also influence the duration and amount of permanent support awards.

After you submit or respond to a divorce petition, the court will schedule a hearing. Both you and your spouse must provide full financial disclosure to help the court make decisions about property division, spousal support and child support if applicable.

Either spouse can request a change in support if financial circumstances change. If the court awards you alimony, it will end if you remarry or at the date established in your divorce agreement.