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Spousal Support

California Alimony Attorney Serving Los Angeles Divorce Clients

When a couple divorces, one spouse may be ordered by the court to pay spousal support. Spousal support can be a financial burden for the spouse ordered to pay and may cause undue stress and tension. Most individuals going through a divorce desire complete separation from their old spouses in order to start fresh and move on with their lives. However, spousal support essentially prolongs the divorce procedure by making it impossible for one spouse to completely disconnect from the other. When support payments are ordered, one spouse is indebted to the other spouse for an extended period of time after the divorce is finalized.

Spousal support, also known as alimony, can be negotiated. A knowledgeable and skilled California divorce attorney can assist you with arguing against spousal support, negotiating lower spousal support payments, or advocating for spousal support if you believe you are eligible. The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady understands how emotional and stressful a divorce can be, and our attorneys strive to make the process as painless as possible by vigorously advocating for your best interests in court. For a free divorce consultation, call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady today at (866) 666-6529.

Spousal Support in California

When a couple marries, they build a lifestyle together. When this couple later divorces, a California court may order that the spouse with the higher income pay post-divorce support to the lower earning spouse to allow that spouse to maintain the lifestyle they had built together. The higher earning spouse could be the husband or the wife. Spousal support may be permanent or for a set period of time.

Because divorces can take a long time to be finalized, a California judge may award temporary spousal support, known as pendente lite support.

Spousal support comes in multiple forms.


  • Lump sum payment
  • Monthly payments
  • Certain expenses covered


Monthly or periodic spousal support payments are taxed by the spouse receiving support. However, lump sums are not taxed.



The length of the marriage determines how long one must pay spousal support to the other spouse. For marriages that last less than ten years, the judge will usually order spousal support for half or shorter of the length of the union.


If the marriage was over 10 years long, the judge will not set a date for termination. However, this does not mean that the spousal support is permanent. California law requires that the spouse receiving support take steps to becoming independent. If this spouse claims that he or she is unable to work, a vocational evaluation and other evidence of this claim will be necessary. In addition, the amount of spousal support may decrease over time. Permanent spousal support is reserved only for spouses with disabilities or those who are too old to work.



Spousal support does not have to be decided by a judge. There are two ways that parties can agree on spousal support payments. The first method is through a prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is entered into before the couple marries. The agreement sets out whether either of the spouses will be eligible for spousal support following a divorce. The agreement may state that no spousal support is available or may state that a spouse is only eligible for a specific amount, regardless of the higher earning spouse’s salary at the time of divorce. The spouses, upon signing the prenuptial agreement, agree to its terms and waive their right to request a higher amount through the court.


The second method is through a marital settlement agreement entered into as part of the divorce. Many parties draft marital settlement agreements to arrange for distribution of their assets and debts upon divorce. This allows the parties to negotiate and make compromises. Spousal support payments can also be included in the marital settlement agreement. Again, like the prenuptial agreement, the agreement is like a binding contract. If one spouse fails to abide by the agreement, it can be upheld in court. Likewise, one spouse cannot request more spousal support through the court unless the other spouse consents.


Los Angeles Divorce Attorney Offering Free Consultations


If you are contemplating a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage or if you are filing for a divorce and predict that spousal support agreements will be included as part of the divorce decree, you need to seek the consultation of an expert California divorce lawyer. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady have 47 years of combined experience representing Los Angeles clients and are well-versed in California divorce law. Call The Law Offices of Kourosh Pourmorady today at (866) 666-6529 for a free consultation on spousal support.