San Diego Child Support Attorneys

Comparing Child Support & Spousal Support in California

In California, spousal support or alimony is determined at the discretion of the judge. Its purpose is to provide the spouse having the least income a way to meet his or her living expenses. The spouse with the greater income is ordered to pay the other spouse, usually on a monthly basis. Likewise, child support is ordered to be paid to the parent who has primary custody of the child and will therefore be covering most of their daily expenses.

Spousal support and child support are determined in different ways:

  • Spousal support is determined by the judge who uses his or her own discretion in deciding the payments.
  • Child support is determined by a set of calculations under state law in California.

Have questions? Call our child support lawyers in San Diego at 800.481.2526.

What the Judge Considers

The judge takes into account several factors when determining the amount of spousal support that must be paid, including:

  • How long the couple was married or in a civil union
  • How long they were separated when still married
  • The ages of the spouses when they divorce
  • The relative income of both spouses
  • The job histories of the spouses
  • The spouses’ future financial prospects
  • The spouses’ health
  • The gender of the spouses (women generally are awarded alimony because historically they have earned less money than their mates, partly because men have fewer gaps in employment than women)

California (along with the states of Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia) has changed the law so that once the recipient of the alimony is shown to remarry or live with another person, the amount of the alimony may be modified or it may be discontinued.

Types of Alimony

Generally, the types of alimony include:

  • Permanent alimony, which is paid until the spouse who is making the payments continues dies or the recipient remarries.
  • Temporary alimony, which is ordered by the court during the time that the couple is separated before their divorce.
  • Rehabilitative alimony, which is money given to the lesser-earning spouse for a time during which the spouse looks for and gets a job to become self-sufficient.
  • Reimbursement alimony, which is money paid to reimburse a spouse for expenses (educational expenses, for example) incurred during the marriage.

Child Support

The law defines child support as ongoing provision of money needed to cover a child’s medical and living expenses. The court can order either or both parents to pay child support.

California law has established guidelines to determine the amount of child support that must be paid. These are based on each parent’s monthly income and the amount of time each parent cares for the child. The amount of child support that must be paid is determined by the court commissioner or family law judge, based on considering income from all sources. Such income can be money, property, or services.

If you are going through a divorce or are considering divorce and would like to speak with a San Diego child support attorney about, contact The Edmunds Law Firm for professional, compassionate and dedicated representation.