Child Support and Spousal Support

How is child support determined?

California has adopted statutory child support “Guideline”. This means that the amount of child support is based on a formula set out in the Family Code. The formula takes into account several factors but the primary ones which affect the support most are the respective incomes of the parents and the timeshare each parent has with the child. The most common software program used to determine is dissomaster.

Obligation to pay child support continues until the child reaches the age of majority (18 years of age) or graduates from high school but no later than 19 years of age. In some rare cases a parent’s obligation to pay child support extends beyond that point such as in cases of support for an adult dependent child.

What is spousal support?

Spousal support, formerly known as “alimony”, is the support paid by one of the spouses to the other after separation or divorce. There are two types of spousal support which may awarded in a case, “temporary” (short term) spousal support and “permanent” (long term) spousal support.

“Temporary” spousal support is awarded while the divorce case is pending. “Permanent” spousal support is awarded to one spouse from the other beyond the date of the final judgment. The purpose of “temporary” spousal support is to maintain a marital standard of living during dissolution proceedings while the purpose of “permanent” spousal support is to help the supported spouse become financially self-sufficient.

California courts have broad discretion to determine both the amount and the duration of spousal support. In doing so, the court takes into consideration a number of factors including the duration of marriage, the living standards of the parties, their marketable skills, and ability of the supporting spouse to pay support.