Temporary Spousal Support in California

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsThe issue of spousal support can result in bitter contests in a divorce. The spouse having a higher income would not want to pay it and the spouse with a lower income or no income will insist on receiving it. In California Family Code, alimony is known as spousal support.

Temporary spousal support can be paid by one spouse to the other when their divorce case has been filed but a ruling is still pending. The amount to be paid should be sufficient to support the other spouse completely till a divorce is granted and the final amount of alimony is determined. The ability of one spouse to pay the amount of temporary alimony is also taken into consideration.

Purpose of temporary alimony

According to California spousal support laws, temporary spousal support is generally paid to maintain the status quo of the spouse. But this can prove to be quite difficult financially for the spouse paying the support. Temporary alimony is paid twice every month – on the first and 15th of every month.

To make matters a little bit easier, the court takes into consideration the net disposable income of each spouse. They then look at the unnecessary expenditures that each spouse can cut back on. The court will advise the alimony paying spouse to pay only for the essential needs of the requesting spouse and not for everything else.

Calculating temporary alimony

The amount of temporary alimony to be paid is determined the same way as child support.  If child support is being paid, the amount of alimony will be less and vice versa. The court uses the software programs X-spouse or Dissomaster or something similar to calculate the amount of temporary alimony to be paid.

The court will consider the income of the past one year of both the spouses before calculating the amount to be paid in temporary alimony. But this is not true for everyone. If any one or both the spouses are self employed, the court will go longer back than that. But the court will, most likely, never consider a period of income shorter than one year.

California alimony procedures and laws need to be considered carefully before filing for a divorce. You should get in touch with an experienced attorney for consultation.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation