California spousal support will I receive it after the divorce?

Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “I was married for fifteen years. I was a full-time stay at home mom for the duration of the marriage. I supported my husband and three kids while my husband went to medical school, completed his residency, and became a full-time medical professional. Fifteen months on the job he fell in love with a nurse and told me he was leaving me. I have not worked in over a decade and still have several young children at home. I am not going to lie; I am scared about how I will take care of myself. Will I be entitled to California spousal support?”

Overview of California spousal support

California spousal support it is not automatically given in California divorce cases, but if you have divorced, had your marriage annulled, you are legally separated or you are separated from your spouse due to a domestic restraining order, you can request a spousal support order for California spousal support. Additionally, you can also request temporary California spousal support while the case is pending.

Factors which determine whether you will receive California Spousal Support

If your husband has declared his intent to divorce, you will need to immediately contact a divorce lawyer. Although divorce does not have to be a contentious legal battle, you do need a legal representative who is familiar with the laws of your state and who can protect your interest.

You asked whether you will receive spousal support. All marriages and financial situations differ; it’s impossible to say with 100% certainty. But because you have been married for more than 10 years, you have been supporting him and his educational and professional aspirations, and you have sacrificed your own career to care for him, there is a good chance you will.

Factors affecting spousal support:

Before the court decides whether to award California spousal support, however, they will consider whether you can earn enough money on your own to maintain the standard of living you were accustomed to during the marriage. They will make this determination by reviewing the following factors:

  • Your marketable skills and the available jobs given your skills
  • The time and expense it will take to gain the appropriate education or training to develop those skills
  • The possible retraining or education opportunities
  • The extent that your future earning capacity has been impaired by periods of unemployment
  • Your contribution to his education, training, position, or a license by the supporting party
  • Your spouse’s ability to pay spousal support
  • Your needs based on the standard of living established during the marriage
  • The number of assets distributed to each party
  • The duration of the marriage
  • Your responsibilities to care for children and whether this will impair your ability to work
  • The age and health of you and your spouse
  • Whether there was a history of domestic abuse
  • Tax implications for support
  • The balance of hardships for each party
  • How long it will take for you to become self-supporting
  • Whether your spouse has been criminally convicted of abuse
  • Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable

(CHAPTER 2. Factors to be Considered in Ordering Support [4320 – 4326] ( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 137, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2016.))