Temporary Spousal Support
During the pendency of a divorce or legal separation proceeding, the court “may order” one party to pay “any amount that is necessary” for the other’s support consistent with the requirements of Family Code §4320 et seq. Temporary spousal support may be ordered in any amount based on the moving party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay. The court has wide discretion in ordering temporary spousal support, and will often utilize the Dissomaster State Guideline calculation in determining this amount, however, the guideline is not binding on the court. If the court is presented with “unusual facts or circumstances,” it will modify any award accordingly. The purpose behind temporary spousal support is to ensure that the supported spouse is maintained in the same living conditions to which he or she has been accustomed, pending the final divorce judgment. On the other hand, the courts recognize that it costs more to maintain two households, and therefor, there will likely be some downward adjustment by the parties to the standard of living after separation.
Permanent Spousal Support
When the court is asked to determine “permanent” spousal support for the final Judgment, it cannot use the temporary spousal support computer program, even as a benchmark or launching point. The court must weigh the Family Code §4320 factors, as applied to the unique circumstances of each case. These factors include length of the marriage, the marketable skills of the supported party, the needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage, the ability of the supporting party to pay support, the extent to which the supported party’s present or future earning capacity is impaired due to periods of unemployment during the marriage incurred to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties, etc.
Whatever your needs may be, Marcus Family law Center has vast experience advocating for both the supported party and the supporting party. Call us today to set up a consultation to discuss your spousal support issues!