Seeking Fair Child And Spousal Support Orders In Your California Divorce

Money matters are always a major concern in any divorce proceeding. There is no denying the potential financial implications for both spouses in these matters. California law has a number of provisions designed to ensure that both of the spouses and their children have the financial support necessary to accommodate their basic needs once the divorce has been finalized.

Often people are confused as to who receives and who pays support. The answer varies, however, generally the higher wage earner usually has to pay support. At Contreras Law Firm, we represent clients on all sides of support cases. Whether you are seeking support for yourself or your child, or you will likely be the spouse ordered to pay support, our lawyers will do everything in our power to obtain the best available outcome on your behalf.

Child Support In California

California law provides a set of statutory guidelines to determine child support. The court will determine the amount of child support to be paid by one parent (or both in limited circumstances), based on the following factors:

  • Monthly salary of each parent
  • Percentage of custody each parent has with the children
  • Number of children both parents have (together and separately)
  • Health insurance expenses
  • Day care expenses
  • Cost of school and other daily living expenses

The court may additionally look to outside expenses, especially in unique situations such as a child with a disability who needs ongoing in-home care, or children who attend private school and have grown up in a certain lifestyle. While no one factor is determinative of another, a judge will consider the salary of the noncustodial parent up to a limit.

Child support generally starts once one of the parents files a request for child support with the court. Child support generally ends once the child turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever occurs later. There are other unique situations where child support may last longer, such as a child with disabilities, or may last less, if the child marries.

Spousal Support In California

Sometimes referred to as alimony, California provides for spousal support under state law. Spousal support may either be temporary or permanent. Temporary support is ordered while a divorce is pending so that the supported party has some support while throughout the case until permanent spousal support is ordered. Temporary spousal support is generally based on the parties' income and takes into consideration certain expenses. Permanent spousal support is based on a list of factors including, but not limited to:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living during marriage
  • Education or career of both spouses

Spousal support is enforced to ensure that both spouses are able to maintain a suitable standard of living after a divorce and typically bridges the gap between the divorce and the length of time it takes the recipient spouse to find employment.

The typical presumption is that, for a marriage under 10 years, one spouse will pay the other spousal support for one-half of the length of the marriage. There is no time limit for the length of time one spouse pays spousal support for a marriage over 10 years.

Learn More About What We Can Do To Help You

For sound representation in the areas of child support and spousal support, do not hesitate to contact Contreras Law Firm. We work tirelessly to see that any support order is fair and suitable to your situation. Contact our San Diego office today by calling 619-908-1495 for your free attorney consultation.