You may know that California child support is calculated using a computer program. There may be adjustments based on a family’s circumstances and a child’s special needs, but the initial amount is determined based on the computer calculation. The same program has a function to quickly calculate temporary spousal support. This is the support that a spouse receives while waiting for the divorce to become final. However, the program should not be used to determine the final amount of spousal support.

By law, California courts must consider 14 factors when determining the amount and duration of spousal support. These factors include:

  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • The supported spouse’s contribution to other spouse’s education, training, or career
  • The supporting spouse’s income and ability to pay support
  • The standard of living maintained during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s assets and debts
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The impact that employment of the custodial spouse would have on the children
  • The age and health of each spouse, including any disabilities
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence
  • The tax consequences of spousal support
  • Relative hardship to each spouse
  • Any other “just and equitable” factors

The weight that is given to each factor depends on the individual circumstances. However, many judges don’t have time to look at all the factors in a divorce. It can be beneficial for you and your San Francisco divorce lawyer to propose a California spousal support plan that reasonably meets your needs and puts you on the patch to self-sufficiency.

San Francisco spousal support attorney Paul Nathan has written a book to help women going through divorce. Reserve your copy of What Every Woman in California Should Know About Divorce by clicking the link in the sidebar. To schedule an appointment, contact The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan at 415-341-1144.