Factors California courts consider when awarding spousal support

Sharman L. Brooks

When you split from your husband or wife in California, you may have concerns about whether you might be able to maintain the same standard of living you have come to enjoy once your divorce becomes final. You may feel especially fearful about your financial future if your spouse was the primary breadwinner. In this situation, you may decide to seek spousal support in your divorce.

Whether you receive it, and how much of it you might receive, is going to depend on a number of different variables. Some of the factors that help determine whether you receive spousal support are as follows.

Your occupational skills and employability

A spousal support award is more likely if a judge feels you are not going to be able to land an adequate job and support yourself in the absence of your partner. The judge may consider your education, job skills and whether there is a market for your existing skillset when making decisions about support.

The length of your marriage

A longer marriage does not automatically mean you are going to receive spousal support. However, the longer your marriage lasted, the greater the chances that you made a career or other sacrifices for the betterment of your family. Typically, the more sacrifices you made for your spouse or family, the better your chances of securing support.

A judge may also consider whether there is any history of domestic violence or abuse in your marriage before deciding whether to award spousal support in your divorce.

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