Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada, LLP
Menlo Park
San Ramon

What type of alimony could you receive in California?

Commonly, spouses have different income levels. Your spouse may have made more money than you, though you did generate your own income, or you may not have been employed because of staying home to raise the children. During your marriage, the disparities in income may not have seemed like much of an issue, but now that you are getting divorced, you may worry about your future finances.

Fortunately, you may have the opportunity to obtain spousal support, or alimony, as part of your divorce settlement. The terms of the agreement can differ from case to case, and the amount of support you obtain and the duration of the support will depend on a number of factors.

Duration of alimony payments

In California, five types of spousal support exist, and the duration of each type differs. The categories of alimony include the following:

  • Lump-sum alimony: In this situation, you would receive a set amount of support all at once rather than receiving payments over a period of time.
  • Temporary alimony: Temporary alimony payments would only last as long as you and your spouse are separated but not yet divorced.
  • Permanent alimony: As the name suggests, if awarded, you would receive permanent alimony payments indefinitely. However, if you remarry, the payments would end.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: These payments would last until you obtained the ability to support yourself.
  • Reimbursement alimony: This type of alimony would result in your spouse reimbursing you for certain expenses, such as those needed for training for a new job.

You could qualify for one or none of these types of alimony depending on your situation.

Support considerations

The court will consider various aspects of your case when it comes to determining amount, type and duration of support. Those factors include the following:

  • Each spouse's earning ability
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Age, physical health and financial well-being of each spouse
  • Your standard of living during the marriage
  • Your spouse's ability to support him or herself

Alimony can become a contentious part of divorce proceedings. However, you may need this type of support if you earned considerably less than your spouse. Fortunately, you can take steps to review your alimony options, understand how state law will come into play and explore what actions could help you reach your desired goals when it comes to spousal support.

If you have questions or concerns, you may wish to speak with an experienced divorce attorney.

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