If you are unsure whether you will be able to pay your expenses after divorce, you may qualify for spousal support in California. These payments, also called alimony, can help you transition to financially independent living.
Before filing for divorce, review the California spousal support laws.
Calculating spousal support
If your marriage ended before the 10-year mark, you can generally receive spousal support for up to five years if you qualify. Longer marriages can result in longer spousal support orders. To determine a fair alimony arrangement, the judge reviewing your case will consider:
- How much you and your spouse each earn and how much you each expect to earn in the future
- The standard of living you shared as a married couple
- Your age and health along with that of your spouse
- Any history of domestic violence or abuse by either spouse
- How you and your spouse contributed to the marriage, including both financially and by caring for the home and children
- The level of education you have each attained
You can also review the San Francisco County temporary support guidelines. These payments persist only from the separation date until the court issues the final divorce decree, which may include provisions for more permanent support.
Requesting spousal support
You can ask the court for both temporary and permanent spousal support using California Form FL-300, the petition for divorce. The court will provide a hearing date and you must give your spouse at least 16 days official legal notice and prove to the court that you did so.
At the hearing, both you and your spouse must give full financial disclosure. The judge will use these details to decide on a fair alimony arrangement.