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How Much Alimony Will I Pay in California?


If you're concerned about how much alimony you could wind up on the hook for during your divorce or spousal support dispute, you're not alone. Today, we're covering how alimony payments work in alimony, so you know what to expect from your case.

To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or by phone.

Understanding Alimony (Spousal Support) in CA

In California, alimony is referred to as "spousal support." Spousal support recipients can get their support in one of three ways:

  1. Temporary support. Temporary support is intended for individuals who need some time to become financially stable or who cannot support themselves during the divorce. The support lasts throughout the divorce and ends when the court finalizes the divorce.
  2. Rehabilitative support. When most people imagine spousal support, they think of rehabilitative support. Using this support model, the payor supplies support to the recipient until they obtain financial stability. Rehabilitative support sometimes has a time limit, which is intended to encourage the support recipient to achieve economic stability in a timely manner. A party may also need to pay back an ex-spouse for contributions to their education or career using rehabilitative support.
  3. Permanent support. In some scenarios, the court decides that a party cannot reasonably achieve financial stability. Under such circumstances, they may choose to provide that party with permanent support, meaning the payor must supply spousal support indefinitely.

Unlike some states, California doesn't use a specific formula to calculate spousal support. However, support payors often find themselves paying roughly 40% of their net monthly income (after taxes and other expenses) to spousal support. It's important to note that spousal support isn't necessarily supposed to pay for luxury items for the recipient - just support their basic needs so they can maintain the standard of living established during the marriage.

Courts consider the following factors during spousal support cases:

  • The age and health of each party;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The financial circumstances of each party;
  • Whether either party is already involved in a spousal or child support arrangement;
  • The employability and training of each spouse;
  • How long it may take an unemployed spouse to obtain financial stability;
  • The roles each party played during the marriage;
  • Contributions made by each spouse toward the other's career or education;
  • How spousal support would impact the prospective payor.

At Arnold Law Group, APC, we can help you fight for an equitable spousal support judgment that suits your needs.

To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or by phone.

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