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Spousal Support

Our lead attorney, Casey Olsen, is a Certified Family Law Specialist with expert knowledge in all aspects of Spousal Support and Divorce. The team in Torrance is dedicated to helping you secure a fair and equitable resolution tailored to your unique interests.

Spousal Support in California

In California, spousal support, also known as alimony, refers to the financial assistance that one spouse may be required to pay to the other after a divorce or separation. Spousal support is designed to address any economic disparities between the spouses and ensure that both parties can maintain a reasonably similar standard of living.


Spousal Support can be temporary or permanent. Temporary support are ordered during the divorce process to maintain the status quo until a final permanent or long-term Spousal support figure can be ordered in the final divorce judgment.​

What Factors Are Considered When Determining Spousal Support?

  • Income: Spousal support figures are based on the amount of income and the disparity of income between the two spouses.

  • Length of Marriage: The duration of the marriage is a significant factor. California law defines short-term marriages (less than 10 years), moderate-term marriages (10 to 20 years), and long-term marriages (20 years or more), and this classification can influence the duration of support.

  • Standard of Living: The court considers the standard of living established during the marriage and aims to maintain a similar standard for both spouses post-divorce.

  • Earning Capacity: Each spouse's ability to earn a living, taking into account education, skills, work history, and marketability.

  • Contributions to the Marriage: Contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, child-rearing, and support for the other spouse's career, are considered.

  • Needs and Obligations: The financial needs and obligations of each spouse, including childcare responsibilities, are evaluated.

  • Age and Health: The age and health of each spouse are factors in determining the ability to work and financial needs.

How Do You Calculate Spousal Support?

Temporary Support is often calculated using a formula provided by California guidelines. The formula takes into account the parties' income and certain deductions.


For Long-term or permanent spousal support, there is no specific formula, and the court has more discretion. The judge considers the various factors mentioned above to determine a fair and reasonable amount.

Can You Terminate Spousal Support?

Spousal support may terminate upon the death of either party, the remarriage of the supported spouse, or a court order specifying a termination date.


If a judgment has no termination date the spousal support has no end date. Please contact our office if you have specific questions regarding your case.

Can You Modify a Spousal Support Judgement?

If you have an existing Spousal Support Judgment, it might be modifiable depending on certain circumstances. Olsen & Olsen has extensive experience obtaining and modifying spousal support for our clients. Read more about modifications here.


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