Court Discusses Grounds for Granting Temporary Spousal Support in California

When a couple divorces in California, their marital assets are subject to equal division. If the court finds that the distribution of property renders one spouse without adequate means for their support, they may award alimony as well. Additionally, California law permits the courts to grant temporary spousal support while a divorce is pending if they feel such support is warranted. Such awards will generally not be disturbed unless the objecting party shows the court committed an abuse of discretion, as demonstrated in a recent California ruling. If you want to end your marriage and have questions about your obligations or rights with regard to spousal support, it is smart to talk to a Bay Area divorce attorney as soon as possible.

Background of the Case

It is reported that the parties married in 1984; they had two children during their marriage that are now adults. They separated in the spring of 2010, and the husband filed a petition for dissolution later that year. The wife moved to Texas to live with her parents shortly thereafter. In 2021, the wife filed a request for temporary spousal support and attorneys’ fees. In support of her request, she filed documentation demonstrating that she earned approximately $1,400 per month while her husband earned over $12,000 per month.

Allegedly, the husband opposed the request and disputed the amount of his income. The court held a hearing after which it determined the husband’s monthly income to be approximately $9,800 per month. It granted the wife’s request, ordering the husband to pay the wife about $1,400 per month in temporary spousal support. The husband appealed.

Grounds for Granting Temporary Spousal Support in California Divorces

Pursuant to California’s Family Code, a court may order one party to pay spousal support in any amount that is deemed necessary for the support of their spouse, as long as the amount complies with other sections of the code. The goal of temporary spousal support is to maintain the parties’ standard of living as nearly as possible to the pre-divorce status while the trial is pending.

There are no statutory guidelines that restrict trial courts with regard to temporary spousal support; as such, orders awarded such support are reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard. In the subject case, the court found that the wife presented evidence sufficient to establish her need for temporary spousal support and the husband’s ability to pay. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with a Dedicated California Family Law Attorney

It is not uncommon for married couples to have vastly unequal incomes, and if they divorce, the courts may find it appropriate to earn the party with less financial means temporary spousal support. If you or your spouse want to end your marriage, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney to discuss your rights. The dedicated family law attorneys of Bay Area Family Law Center are adept at helping parties seek favorable outcomes in divorce actions, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can reach us through our online form or by calling us at 925-258-2020 to schedule a conference.

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