San Diego Spousal Support Attorney

Spousal support is characterized by the amount of support, the duration of support and the jurisdiction of the Court over the issue of support. The court has great latitude and discretion in determining spousal support; however, the court will examine the totality of the relationship when making its final decision. In marriages of ten years or less, support is commonly granted for half the length of the marriage. In divorces of marriages that are more than ten years – by statute, considered a lengthy marriage – the court will generally not create a future date of termination of spousal support or jurisdiction over spousal support. Since every marriage is unique, the court must take in to account specific characteristics of each case to ensure an equal spousal support agreement is reached. Having one of our family lawyers or spousal support attorneys by your side is extremely beneficial to ensure your case is organized and prepared.

The Court Considers Many Factors in Determining Spousal Support Amount

The family court is required to examine 14 statutory factors in its decision (see Divorce Library, “How is Spousal Support Determined?”) While the factors are to be considered, there is still not a formula; the entirety of the situation is more important than any specific aspect.

The court will look at the greater perspective when considering spousal support:

  • Earning capacity
  • Standard of living

What can each spouse earn to maintain the same or similar standard of living?

  • Does the spouse who is to get the support have any marketable skills?
  • Is there a job market for those skills at the present time?
  • What will it take to better educate or train the spouse so that s/he can earn more, get a better job or change careers?
  • To what extent was the earning capacity negatively affected due to focusing on domestic duties?

Factors that Influence Spousal Support Determination

The court will consider factors, including the following:

  • How long the marriage or domestic partnership lasted
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence between the parties
  • Emotional distress that resulted from domestic violence
  • The ability of the paying spouse
  • Both party’s needs – to be looked at from the perspective of the standard of living during the marriage
  • Debts, assets of each party
  • To what extent will the children be negatively affected if the parental caregiver becomes employed
  • The age and health of each party
  • Whether there will be tax consequences

Basically, whatever else the court determines to be important in making the spousal support decision.

Spousal Support FAQ

Can I request alimony after the proceeding is over?

There are special circumstances where the court may find it necessary to revisit the subject of spousal support. This is typically only done under extreme circumstances and can only be revisited as long as the Court still has jurisdiction to hear or issue a spousal support order.  

How long do I have to be married to receive alimony?

Every state is different. Indeed, in some areas, there is a minimum amount of time that a couple must stay together before alimony can be rewarded. In California, however, this is not the case. The shorter the marriage in California the less amount of time spousal support may be awarded.  

I have a job. Can I still receive spousal support?

If there is a disparity in income and one spouse cannot maintain the marital standard of living as shared during the marriage, then if you are working you may still be entitled to an award of spousal support.  

How often and for how long will alimony be awarded?

Awarded alimony will be paid every month until a time pre-determined by the court. The payment duration may later be revisited. As for how the courts determine spousal support duration, the answer is dependent on a few things: 

  • Length of time of marriage. The payment period will increase the longer the marriage. 
  • Quality of life during marriage.
  • Debts that must be paid.
  • How long it might take for a spouse to get back on their feet again.   

What is temporary alimony?

Temporary alimony is essentially support being received while the divorce is still being finalized. Temporary alimony does not mean that permanent support will be awarded later on.

What’s the difference between temporary and permanent alimony?

  • One of the primary differences is that while permanent alimony is awarded at the end of a case, temporary is determined pending resolution of the divorce or separation. 
  • The considerations for this are different than permanent support.
  • Temporary support has a set end date- typically when the divorce itself is finalized. Permanent alimony may not have an end date (usually determined by how long the couple were married). 

Can spousal support be awarded during an annulment?

During an annulment (invalid marriage), permanent alimony is not awarded, as legally, there was no legal union to begin with. However, temporary alimony may be awarded during the duration of the annulment proceedings. 

Can Spousal Support Ever Be Rescinded?

There are several scenarios where alimony may be stopped. Some of the more common reasons include: 

  • Remarriage of the recipient spouse
  • A change in income or living situation that can impact one’s needs or ability to pay. 
  • Death of one or both parties. 

If you have any questions at all about spousal support and how it can impact you, feel free to call Neumann Family Law, APC at (619) 282-1107 or (760) 480-8400. You deserve to be as informed as possible before filing for divorce. 

Testimonial From a Client

  • “Six months after my husband turned 50, he told me he wanted a divorce . . .[s]he really impressed me when she took all my husband’s financials and went through each deposit and expense.  In the end, she discovered that he had been spending thousands of dollars a month for the past couple of years just on himself!  No wonder we didn’t have any money!!  If she had not been so thorough, the judge would have had no choice but to use my husband’s very distorted monthly income to establish my spousal support.  I have every confidence in Tara’s ability to represent me in any situation because I trust her.  She has integrity and is the most ethical attorney I have ever worked with . . .I would highly recommend and have already recommended Tara Yelman. . .”   C. A.  San Diego

The Role of the Family Lawyer in Spousal Support

The family lawyer has the duty to advocate on behalf of her client. Although the court may have  an abundance of data and information available to help make the proper determination of whether and how much spousal support should be awarded, it is often the advocacy of the family lawyer that is of the most critical importance. The Family Law Attorneys at Neumann Family Law, APC represent their clients with specific goals and results in mind. Many cases are determined specifically as a result of the attorney’s ability to convince and persuade the court on behalf of their client.

We are articulate, seasoned, and knowledgeable spousal support family law attorneys. For a complimentary telephone consultation, cNeumann Family Law, APC at (619) 282-1107, or (760) 480-8400. You may also fill out our online form here.

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(619) 282.1107
(760) 480.8400


Neumann Family Law, APC

3333 Camino Del Rio South
Suite 140

San Diego, Ca 92108

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