How Is Spousal Support Determined During California Divorce

How Is Spousal Support Determined During California Divorce

Whenever we are handling a divorce for our clients, we always need to know if there will be a request for spousal support from either party. Believe it or not, many of our clients choose not to request spousal support from the other party, even where the income differences between them would suggest they could ask for spousal support.

You see, spousal support is one of those things that is not mandatory.  Compare that with Child Support which the court enforces at least minimum guideline amounts be paid, a spouse can decide to waive their right to spousal support.

But for determining the amount of spousal support there are a couple ways you can go about that.  If you are working toward an agreement with your spouse, as is the case with many of our clients, we usually will start with using the court’s software system called a “dissomaster”.  The dissomaster takes your income and your spouses income and considers the disparity between the two to come up with a number. The idea is that if one party makes more than the other, money would be paid to the lesser earner to help move on with life.

What i tell our clients is to use the dissomaster as a guide in helping to determine what the needs of the spouse are for spousal support.  For instance, when you divorce and ultimately move out into separate residences, what are going to be your needs for money and what is the ability to pay for the other spouse.

It can be as simple as sitting down at the kitchen table and going through your finances and expenses to work together to come up with a number for spousal support that works for both of you.

The next article will discuss the question of for how long should you pay spousal support to the other party.  You can read that article by clicking on How Long Should I Pay Spousal Support.

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