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How Is Alimony Decided In California?

Quick Guide To How Spousal Support Is Decided In 2022

Every divorce is different because every marriage is different. There are several factors that can contribute to decisions made by the court, including the need for alimony or spousal support. One important detail about alimony is that it could either be temporary, permanent, or can stop based on the changes in the beneficiaries life.


Let's discuss alimony, and how it's being decided by California Family Law.


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1. Temporary Alimony Payments

Determining alimony payments is an important component of negotiating a divorce settlement. Temporary alimony payments allow the vulnerable spouse to be rewarded while the final amount is worked out.


Temporary alimony laws are designed to allow each spouse to maintain their lifestyle before and after a divorce is finalized. Financial reasons usually take precedence in this situation.

Choosing a Payment Plan for Temporary Alimony

Payments on expenses like energy, mortgage payments, and other debts are frequently considered while determining interim alimony. Aspects of a couple's past will be considered as well.


The variables listed below are examples of details that may be taken into account while determining interim alimony:

  • The duration of the marriage

  • The reason for the divorce

  • Financial resources

  • Standard of living

  • The health of the couple

  • The justification of the alimony

  • Loans

With these factors, the courts should be able to work out how much you'll get (or pay) after the divorce. To help you get through this excruciating process, consult your California Divorce Attorney immediately.


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Making Provisions for Temporary Alimony Payments

A settlement can be reached between the two parties, but it usually entails a lot of back-and-forth between California Divorce Lawyers. If the two parties are unable to come to an agreement, the courts will have to decide on temporary alimony payments.

A California Family Law Attorney will consider a couple's financial situation as well as the reason for divorce when establishing a temporary alimony payout. It almost definitely refers to the amount of permanent alimony payments due after the divorce. However, the figures can vary slightly.

Temporary alimony payments will have a substantial impact on the divorce process. The ultimate divorce settlement will be substantially influenced if one spouse is unable to pay their debts or hire a California Family Law Attorney.

2. Permanent Alimony Payments

Permanent alimony is a payment that remains indefinitely after a divorce. Unless a person remarries, they are responsible for making these payments until they pass away.

Permanent alimony is a set amount of money that must be paid on a consistent basis. Periodic alimony, on the other hand, is paid to a former spouse to assist them in rebuilding their life after a divorce. It could also be ended by remarriage.

That said, periodic alimony can be changed over time. The amount and frequency of payments are adjusted when the divorcee's financial status changes.

The Factors That Influence Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony arrangements are no longer as popular as they once were. However, if a couple has agreed to alimony in the form of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it will still be paid. The longer a couple has been married, the more likely they are to receive permanent alimony.


The court can calculate the value of alimony payments depending on a number of variables, including:

  • How long the couple has been married

  • What each spouse earns now or has the potential to earn after the divorce

  • The property and debts received as part of the divorce settlement

  • The age and health of each spouse

  • Contribution of each spouse to the education or career of the other

  • In some cases, one partner leaves the marriage with significantly fewer employment skills or earning chances than the other, needing alimony payments to cover financial needs, education, or other impediments.

Again, even with this list of factors, your divorce (and subsequently issues with alimony payments) are going to be different from other clients. To have the best legal options that fit your specific case, consult a California Divorce Law Attorney near you.


3. When Do You Stop Paying Alimony In California?

The amount of alimony or spousal support received by an ex-spouse is determined by a variety of circumstances:

  • Levels of Income. The court might consider the amount of income received by each party while deciding alimony. If a wife earns slightly more than her husband and it is determined that he would be able to support himself after the marriage, the wife will not be compelled to pay support.

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  • Cases of adultery. In most states, whether or not alimony is awarded is unaffected by infidelity. California is one of these states. The court can eliminate the requirement for support if it can be demonstrated that the offended party is cohabiting with someone else prior to the marriage being annulled, as this may show that he or she no longer requires financial support, according to Section 4343 of the California Family Code.

  • Second marriages. By law, alimony payments must stop if the partner who is in need of financial support remarries. It's crucial to remember that there's nothing a supportive partner can do to start or speed up the process of an ex-spouse remarrying.

That said, each case is different. Your divorce could be influenced by several other factors that aren't listed above. To know what your legal choices are, consult a prescreened California Family Law Attorney.

Taxes on Alimony


In the United States, alimony is taxable. Payments must be included in the recipient's gross income, but the payer's gross income might be left out. The IRS can write off any alimony payments as a tax loss.

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