5 Spousal Support Options in a California Divorce

In California, there are five types of alimony, or spousal support, that can ordered by the court or agreed upon by the spouses as a part of their marital settlement agreement. The purpose of alimony is to provide economic support for the lower-earning or non-earning spouse for a period of time after a divorce. However, alimony awards can vary greatly in their amount, as well as the duration of time for which they must be paid, depending on several different factors.

When awarding alimony, the courts will take several factors into consideration, including but not limited to:

  • The age and physical health of each spouse
  • The amount of time the couple was married
  • The financial condition of each spouse
  • The earning abilities of each spouse
  • The standard of living during the marriage

Types of Alimony That Can Be Awarded in a California Divorce

When determining what type of alimony to award, the courts will take the aforementioned factors into consideration. In doing so, an appropriate amount and duration can be decided based on the lower-earning spouse’s needs and the higher-earning spouse’s ability to pay. Below are the five types of alimony that can be awarded in California.

  • Temporary alimony: This type of spousal support is paid from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse while a divorce is still pending. It can include payment for divorce costs and daily expenses; however, once the divorce is finalized, temporary alimony payments will be terminated.
  • Permanent alimony: This type of spousal support is paid by the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse after the conclusion of divorce proceedings, and is paid on a monthly, recurring basis. Permanent alimony is paid indefinitely, or until the death or remarriage of the supported spouse.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony is paid by the higher-earning spouse while the lower-earning spouse searches for a job or receives education or training to expand their employment options. It is usually ordered for a fixed period of time, or until the payee spouse becomes self-supporting.
  • Reimbursement alimony: This type of spousal support is intended to reimburse one spouse for the expenses of the other. For example, if the lower-earning spouse needs to seek higher education or attend a work training program, the higher-earning spouse may be ordered to pay for the tuition.
  • Lump-sum alimony: This type of spousal support is usually ordered in lieu of a property settlement. For example, if one spouse does not want any property or items of value from the marriage, the judge may order the other spouse to provide a one-time, lump-sum payment in lieu of marital assets.

Have Questions? Contact Our San Diego Divorce Attorneys.

If you have made the decision to file for divorce and have questions about your spousal support options, please contact a San Diego family law lawyer at Moore, Schulman & Moore, APC. With more than 200 years of collective experience and an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, our firm is well-equipped to offer the knowledgeable legal guidance you need at this time. In fact, our team is led by three board certified family law experts! Call now to arrange an initial consultation.

Do you have questions about spousal support? Contact our family law attorneys for more information.

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