Types of spousal support in California

On Behalf of Griswold LaSalle Cobb Dowd & Gin LLP

Spousal support is an important form of financial payment that exists between formerly married people. It is often paid from a high earning party to their lower earning ex for a period of time during and after their divorce. Spousal support, also called alimony or spousal maintenance, allows a Californian with a low earning capacity to stay financially afloat when their marriage ends.

In California there are several general types of spousal support and this post will address the basics of each. No part of this post should be read as legal advice and readers with questions about spousal support can direct them to their trusted family law and divorce attorneys for answers.

Permanent support

Permanent support is the most long-term form of spousal support that may be awarded following a divorce. Permanent support does not end unless the recipient spouse dies or gets remarried. It is often awarded when a recipient spouse is unable to work or the parties endured a long marriage.

Temporary and rehabilitative support

Temporary support is a form of support that does not extend into the post-divorce period. It supports a recipient during their divorce proceedings. Rehabilitative support is short-term support that follows a divorce and helps a recipient party to get themselves in a position to become self-supportive.

Reimbursement support

This form of support is often used when a person helps pay for their ex to attend school or attain a higher degree of education to assist them with the process of entering the workforce. Reimbursement support can be short or long-term.

Lump sum support

As it sounds, lump sum support is paid out once. After a lump sum spousal support payment is made, the spousal support obligation between exes is fulfilled and no longer active.

When a party has concerns about their post-divorce financial situation, they may want to consider seeking an award of support from their ex. Their divorce and family law attorney can help them understand their rights and options to make good decisions about their future.

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