Calculating Alimony in California

Getting a divorce is always a tough situation to be in, even if you think it’s for the best. The process is also very difficult, with a lot of contentious issues arising and making life stressful for a while.

One of these very contentious issues is spousal support or alimony. Often one party doesn’t want to pay and the other feels they are owed more support. If you are trying to verify what a fair amount of spousal support would be for you, here is some information that may be able to help.

What Factors Should You Consider When Calculating Alimony?

Whether you go to court to work out spousal support payments, or you choose to handle it through mediation or on your own, you still should have a lawyer look over your alimony agreement. You want to be sure that it’s a fair amount and that you aren’t being taken advantage offighting for fair spousal support is your right.

A lawyer will be able to look over your records and ensure that you are receiving the alimony payments you deserve. Below, these are the factors that are considered when calculating alimony payments.

  • The marriage length
  • The health and age of both parties
  • The income potential of each party
  • All matters concerning any children
  • Property, assets, and debts
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Issues of domestic violence
  • Did one spouse sacrifice career and/or education for the other
  • Did one spouse stay home to take care of kids/house

Why Do These Factors Matter in Determining Spousal Support Payments?

The goal of spousal support payments is to ensure that the two parties end the marriage on equal footing. It would be unfair for one spouse who wasn’t working during the marriage to suddenly be thrust into the world with no job and no way of earning a living.

Depending on the length of the marriage, there can be a lot of inequality when it comes to earning potential, often because one spouse sacrificed a career in order to take care of kids or be a homemaker.

Also, if the couple has been married for a very long time, their lives are so intricately bound it can be difficult to unravel the threads. The court can order spousal support payments for life in a situation like this.

All these factors must be examined to come to a fair situation for both parties. Every marriage is unique and alimony will be calculated on a situational basis. That’s why there’s really no exact formula for calculating alimony. Hopefully this information will help you if you’re trying to calculate spousal support payments.

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