Legal Blogs

How Much Spousal Support Will I Get?

how much spousal supportIn some California divorces, one spouse is entitled to receive spousal support from the other. Also called alimony or maintenance payments, spousal support is paid when there is a disparity in actual or potential earnings between two people who have been married.

A number of different factors must be considered in determining how much spousal support is appropriate, if any. A California divorce and family law attorney at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can assist you in determining a realistic amount of support and in using the legal process to ensure appropriate alimony payments after your marriage ends. Call today to learn more.

How Much Spousal Support is Appropriate in a Divorce?

There are three primary ways in which the amount of spousal support is determined when a marriage ends:

  • A premarital or post-marital agreement may have a clause addressing the issue of spousal support.
  • A couple can negotiate on the issue of support and come to an agreement regarding how much should be paid to the recipient spouse.
  • A judge can consider factors including the length of the marriage in order to determine whether support should be ordered and how much should be paid.

If your premarital or post-marital agreement contains a provision on alimony or spousal support, this will generally be controlling. As a result, the judge may require you to abide by the terms of the contract, even if you waived support.

However, this is not always the case. If the agreement was not made in accordance with all legal requirements; if you did not have full information when entering into the contract; or if there are other reasons it would be unfair to apply the contract provision, the judge may order a different amount of support be paid. An Irvine divorce attorney can assist you if you wish to argue that a premarital contract clause on support should not be determinative.

If you have no prior agreements on the issue of support, you and your spouse can still negotiate together to determine how much spousal support is appropriate. If you can come to an agreement with the help of your lawyers by working together on your own or with the help of a mediator, this can be better for all involved parties. It is generally much less expensive, much less time consuming and much less stressful to negotiate a divorce settlement on support, asset division and child custody than it is to have a judge make these decisions.

Sometimes, however, no agreement can be reached and there is no premarital agreement to turn to. When this occurs, the judge will consider the earnings of each party, the length of the marriage, the contributions each party made, the earning potential of each spouse and a variety of other factors. Temporary or permanent support may be awarded in an amount appropriate under the circumstances.

Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can assist you in negotiating or litigating the issue of how much spousal support should be paid in a divorce. Call today to speak with a member of our legal team to learn more.