Spousal support is a court-ordered mandate that requires an individual to financially provide for their former spouse in the aftermath of a divorce. After divorce proceedings, the court will firmly review numerous factors to determine the individual that is entitled to receive spousal support, or alimony. One common misconception is that spousal support is chiefly determined based on the income of both individuals. While that is true to some extent, the court will take into account multiple factors and will make a decision that is legally just.

If you are contemplating a divorce or would like to familiarize yourself with the complicated matters of spousal support, the information below from our spousal support lawyers will come in handy when discussing spousal support, also known as alimony.

The Standard Of Living

One significant factor that plays a vital role in determining who is responsible for paying spousal support is income, as it relates to the standard of living in a previous marriage. To put it plainly, during a marriage, the sole or joint income that is used to maintain a particular standard of living plays a crucial role in the court’s decision. For example, if a millionaire marries an unemployed individual and seeks a divorce a few years later, the millionaire will likely have to pay spousal support.

The reason for this is because the millionaire has obviously maintained a high standard of living for their former spouse. In addition, the millionaire’s income is only efficient to maintain that standard of living after the marriage, especially since the former spouse was unemployed.

On the contrary, if both spouses are able to maintain their previous standard of living, or simply, if their separate incomes are both sufficient in this case, there wouldn’t be a possibility of spousal support on either side. However, that conclusion can only be based on the grounds of the previous standard of living. There are still other factors that determine the decision of spousal support.

Intangible Unemployment

Understandably, the term “intangible unemployment” sounds difficult to understand, but the concept is quite simple. If two individuals got married and relied on one single income, that can open the road to “intangible unemployment.” This term essentially involves a scenario in which one individual sacrifices their time to pursue a career or education in order to perform household duties.

In the event of a divorce, that individual will obviously be unable to support him/herself. Therefore, under California law, the court can decide to enforce spousal support on the individual with the majority income, especially in this particular scenario.

Domestic Violence

In the matters of spousal support, the court will take domestic violence claims very seriously. If there is any evidence suggesting that an individual has been excessive psychologically, physically, or verbally abuse, the court may rule to grant spousal support to the victim party. In these situations, the court may take into consideration the amount of emotional distress that has been inflicted over the duration of the marriage and possibly make a decision based on the severity of the abuse.

For more information, speak to our spousal support attorneys.