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How is California Spousal Support Calculated
Unlike child support, only vague guidelines are established in California for spousal support. Unfortunately, broad latitude is administered by judges with varying attitudes. Different results appear in cases with similar factual situations. Generally speaking, spousal support is based on the reasonable needs of the wife as they relate to the husband's ability to pay. The factors most relevant are as follows:
Temporary spousal support is usually based solely on the respective earnings of the parties and their special needs at the moment. Although this may appear to unfairly benefit the spouse who was unemployed at the date of separation; Judges are more willing to order written proof of job contacts for the unemployed spouse if they appear to be a viable candidate for work. Also, the courts are tending to order professional assessments of a party's ability if they have not worked for substantial period of time.
Generally, debts incurred during the marriage are community obligations. This includes credit card bills, even if the credit card is in one name only. Student loans are an important exception because they are considered separate property debts. Community property possessions and community property debts are divided equally unless both spouses agree to an unequal division in writing. If spouses can't agree on the division of debts and possessions, a judge makes that decision.
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