Average Alimony Payment in California (2024) – Calculating Spousal Support in CA

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May 02, 2024

Dissolving a marriage and going through a divorce is anything but simple. Along with the emotional stress, there are many decisions to be made, such as how things will be divided. If children are involved, a custody agreement must be made. You may also need to discuss alimony payments. Keep reading to discover the average alimony payment in California.

Every divorce case is unique, and as a result, there is no actual average alimony payment. Every divorce involves different assets, debts, and liabilities that must be divided. This affects the alimony payment amounts that the court decides to award.

While it isn’t possible to say there is an average alimony payment within the state, there is a general formula that is used by judges to determine the amount. Although there is a formula that can be used, that does not mean that the judge will use it.

Factors That Can Determine Alimony

Because it is difficult to decide how much alimony (also known as spousal support) to order one spouse to pay to the other, many factors are used to help determine alimony payments. If one of the spouses has been charged with domestic violence, sexual assault, or murder against their spouse or their children, they cannot receive alimony. Other factors that can determine alimony payments include:

  • The spouse’s income.
  • The basic needs of the spouse were met during the marriage.
  • Each spouse’s age and overall health.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • Debts and assets owned by the couple, as well as outside of the marriage.
  • The taxes owed by both spouses.
  • If one spouse was convicted of domestic violence or sexual abuse toward a family member.
  • If there are any difficulties known.
  • If one spouse financially contributed to the other’s education.

This is not an exhaustive list, and there are many other factors that the judge may take into consideration in making their final decision.

Alimony Disqualifiers

While there are many factors that qualify you for alimony, there are also factors that will disqualify you from receiving it. These factors include:

  • Spouses with enough separate assets to support themselves.
  • The higher-income spouse has other financial responsibilities that prevent them from paying alimony.
  • The division of the marital property financially supports both spouses.
  • The spouse with a lower income has been convicted of domestic violence or sexual abuse.

Two Types of Alimony

There are two types of alimony that can be awarded in the state. These two types are referred to as temporary and long-term support. The purpose of both types of spousal support is to provide financial support for the lower income support and any children, if applicable.

Temporary Support

This type of alimony is awarded to the spouse who earns a lower income. It is awarded to the spouse during the divorce process to help them sustain their quality of life as they walk through the divorce. In some cases, this support may end before the divorce process has finished, but it is typically terminated after the divorce is finalized.

Long-Term Support

Long-term support serves the purpose of supporting the lower-earning spouse for as long as they need it as they search for a higher-income position. As the spouse works to become financially stable on their own, the judge can monitor the financial needs of the spouse and may even terminate the support.

How A Spousal Support Lawyer Can Help

Having a spousal support lawyer to help you through the process of your divorce, including alimony, can prove to be very beneficial. Your lawyer can explain the legal process to you, as well as negotiate for you and fight for your rights. They can serve as your representative through the entire process and negotiate with your spouse’s lawyer. They can also represent you in court. They can also help you determine a fair spousal support payment and negotiate for that amount.


Q: How Much Alimony Can a Wife Get?

A: The amount of alimony a wife can get in California is decided upon by the court and varies by case, as each case is unique. There is a general formula that can be used, where about 40% of income is earned from the higher-paid spouse, and then 50% of the lower-earning spouse’s income is subtracted from that amount.

Q: How Many Years Can You Get Alimony?

A: It is not possible to state how many years you can get alimony in California. As each case is unique, one case will not be like another. In many cases, alimony is awarded to one spouse in order to help provide financially for the lower income spouse until they can support themselves. A general rule is that the length of alimony will last about half of the time as the total length of the marriage.

Q: Is There a 10-Year Rule for Alimony?

A: The 10-year rule for alimony in California states that for marriages that have lasted for 10 years or longer, there is no set amount of time determined for alimony payments. These marriages are considered long-term. Alimony, or spousal support, can potentially last for the rest of the spouse’s life or for as long as the spouse needs it.

Q: What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce?

A: A wife is entitled to up to half of the marital assets in a divorce in the state. California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that the couple can divorce for any reason. It is also a 50/50 state, meaning that in most cases, the marital assets, debts, and property will be split evenly between the couple. A wife may also be awarded alimony, primary or joint child custody, and child support. Ultimately, it is the judge’s decision.

Consult with A Spousal Support Lawyer

Going through a divorce is difficult and not only emotionally draining but also overwhelming as the couple tries to figure out how to divide marital property. It is even more complicated if children are involved. When one spouse requires alimony, it adds another complicated level to the divorce case. If you need assistance in seeking spousal support, contact the Law Offices of Hollie A. Lemkin, APC.

Call today to speak with Hollie A. Lemkin to discuss your questions & issues!


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