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Who Qualifies for Spousal Support in California?

When a couple legally separates or divorces, the court may order one spouse to pay the other a certain amount of support money each month. This is called “spousal support," but is often also called “alimony.” Spousal support can be a critical issue in a Los Angeles divorce.

What is the purpose of spousal support?

The purpose of spousal support in California is to provide each spouse with sufficient income for their needs and to ensure their lifestyle remains consistent.

Is alimony for women only?

No. California law is gender-neutral regarding spousal support. A woman can be ordered to pay a man, and vice versa. Likewise, spousal support can be payable in same-sex divorces.

What is spousal support based on?

Spousal support is based on a series of factors including the length of the marriage, marital standard of living, incomes of both parties, whether one spouse forwent a career to support the family, age and health of the parties, history of domestic violence, and more.

How long does spousal support last?

Longer marriages tend to produce more spousal support. For marriages less than 10 years in duration, spousal support is generally paid for ½ the duration of the marriage. For marriages longer than 10 years, spousal support may last longer, even permanently.

Do I have to go to court?

Often, divorcing spouses can settle this issue and avoid the expense of court. Negotiating a fair and reasonable spousal support settlement requires knowing your rights, including how spousal support is calculated. If spousal support is an issue in your case, consider consulting with an experienced Los Angeles divorce attorney.


The Law Office of Emily E. Rubenstein is a full service divorce and family law firm. We proudly serve Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City, the South Bay, Glendale, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Encino and all of Los Angeles County.

Give us a call or check out our website:

(310) 750-0827 |

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