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Who Gets What? A Spousal Support Guide from McKean Family Law

McKean Family Law > Spousal Support  > Who Gets What? A Spousal Support Guide from McKean Family Law

Who Gets What? A Spousal Support Guide from McKean Family Law


Before even filing for divorce, it is very important to know your obligations or rights regarding spousal support. Learning why support is offered, how long it will be paid, and exactly how much will need to be provided will help you better prepare for what to expect.

In this article, we’re going to break down the essentials when it comes to figuring out who gets what as it pertains to divorce in California.

What is It?

Also known as alimony, spousal support is the term used to describe payments from one spouse to another after a divorce has been filed. It is typically broken down into two types:

  • Temporary Ordered while a divorce is pending; it does not expire, nor is there a set period of time for support.
  • Permanent Based on a set of 14 different factors, ranging from the length of the marriage to the marital standard of living, this type is more accurately referred to as “post-divorce judgement.”

These are legal terms and are not to be confused with the common definitions of permanent and temporary.

What is the Purpose of It?

Because it is the State of California’s policy that both parties become self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time, support of a spousal type was meant to bridge that gap between the time it takes for the supported spouse to obtain employment or resources that meet their cost of living needs.

How Long Will You Pay or Receive It?

The length of support is based on a reasonable transition period from married life to single/self-sufficient life, with this duration depending, in part, on the length of the marriage. For marriages in excess of 10 years, the spouse earning less will receive support for as long as he or she needs to, so long as the other spouse is able to pay.

How Much of it Will be Ordered?

In the Golden State, Sacramento has adopted the Santa Clara guideline, and Placer uses Alameda guideline.  In a nutshell, the guideline states that the paying spouse’s support be presumptively 40-percent of his or her net monthly income, reduced by one-half of the receiving spouse’s net monthly income.

If child support is a factor, spousal assistance is calculated after child support is premeditated.

Learn about the steps you’ll take during separation and avoid mistakes along the way by calling McKean Family Law at (916) 666-7874. Discover for yourself why we’re often called the approach to family law Roseville has been waiting for.