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Spousal Support​

Spousal support may be awarded any time a couple chooses to legally divorce or separate. In such a case, one spouse or partner may be ordered by the court to provide the other with a certain amount of money each month to help maintain the marital “standard of living." This is referred to as “spousal support” for married couples and “partner support” for couples in a domestic partnership.

There are two types of spousal support in California: temporary (or pendente lite) and permanent (or judgment). 

  • Temporary spousal support is ordered based on a computer calculation based on each party’s income, tax-filing status, and certain deductions, and is paid during the pendency of the proceedings.  Temporary spousal support is used to preserve the “status quo”, or to maintain the marital standard of living (to the extent possible), pending final judgment.


  • Permanent spousal support is part of the final judgment and is based on factors outlined in Family Code §4320, which considers the marital standard of living, the duration of the marriage, and each party’s existence in the workforce.


Retroactivity of spousal support is limited to the date on which a Request for Order seeking support was filed. It’s important to file a request or oppose a request, for temporary spousal support quickly and timely. Don’t let the fear of the “what ifs” prevent you from knowing your rights regarding spousal support.

Modification of Permanent Spousal Support

Although it is called “permanent” spousal support, the support as outlined in your judgment may be modified if there is a change in circumstances, such as losing employment or entering retirement. Another factor that may be considered is whether or not the supported party (the party receiving spousal support) has made a diligent effort to become self-supporting. To learn if your case qualifies for a modification of spousal support, call us to schedule your consultation, retroactivity to modify support is limited to the date your motion is filed.

Competent Representation for Meaningful Results

Spousal support is a complicated legal process that warrants hiring a lawyer. Given the variations in the law and the numerous factors affecting the amount of spousal support owed by one party to the other, it is in your best interest to seek sound legal advice from experienced counsel.  

At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles, we work diligently to negotiate, litigate, draft, and implement spousal support orders that are fair, equitable, and an accurate reflection of the specific needs of our clients without sacrificing valuable rights. We also assist clients who seek a modification of an existing support order due to change in circumstances and can assist in enforcing any existing order for spousal support.

To speak to an attorney at Law Office of Channe G. Coles about your spousal support issues and concerns, call us at (805) 617-4618 to schedule your confidential consultation.


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