Unlike child support, spousal support is not calculated with the use of an algorithm. Instead, the Court analyzes a number of factors under Family Code §4320 to determine the appropriate amount of spousal support to be ordered after a divorce, including:
- Duration of the marriage.
- Age and health of the parties.
- Needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage.
- Ability to engage in gainful employment (without interfering with the child’s interests) to maintain standard of living, taking into account: (a) the marketable skills, job market, the time and expenses required to acquire training or education to develop or acquire more marketable skills, and (b) whether present earning capacity was impaired by unemployment during marriage due to domestic duties take to contribute to the education, career, or a license of the supporting party.
- Assets, debts, tax consequences, and hardships of each party.
- Ability to pay spousal support based on earning capacity, income, assets, and standard of living.
- Domestic violence or criminal conviction of an abusive spouse.
- Any other equitable factors in order to meet the goal that the supported party be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time (in one-half the number of years of the marriage, or for a greater or lesser length of time based on the circumstances of the parties).
If a couple is married for less than 10 years, the court will order spousal support for no more that ½ the duration of the marriage. However, if the couple was married for more than 10 years, spousal support may be ordered longer than ½ the term of the marriage, and depending on the parties’ circumstances may continue until the death of either party, remarriage of the supported spouse, or further court order.
If spousal support is appropriate, parties may instead, through counsel, enter into an agreement for a lump sum one-time spousal support payment. The lump sum payment eliminates the need for an on-going monthly obligation of paying support (or waiting for payment of support) when parties can agree to set amount to be paid.
As you can imagine, the amount of spousal support is entirely within the discretion of the Court based on numerous factors. It may be in the best interests of the parties to attempt to negotiate spousal support to the satisfaction of both parties.
Counts Law Firm | Spousal Support Lawyers in Los Angeles
If you are going through a divorce, do not hesitate to contact Counts Law Firm. Emahn Counts is an experienced Los Angeles family law attorney who has years of experience in handling all types of spousal support matters. Emahn Counts will work with you to develop a strategic plan, and then maximize value on your behalf.