Common issues with spousal support

Many Californians assume that divorces without children involved generally see smooth sailing. While this observation is true in some cases, determining spousal support after divorce can be an incredibly complex process. It can be helpful to not only clarify common terms in this procedure, but to learn more about state-specific guidelines when it comes to spousal support. 

In sum, Findlaw explains that alimony is a process in which the court awards spousal support from one ex-partner to another in attempts to balance out any unfair economic effects of the separation. A couple may decide an alimony plan, or the decision may go to the court. Findlaw points out that one reason determining alimony can become more difficult than child support lies in the broad guidelines applied to spousal support in most states. Most courts refer to the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act to best decide on an alimony plan, ultimately considering aspects such as a spouse’s age, emotional state, physical condition and financial condition. Courts may also consider the length of the marriage, as well as the couple’s standard of living.

As for California’s specific alimony guidelines, the state’s court website gives a general rundown of the process and the commonly asked questions that can follow. For example, many separating Californians may wonder how spousal support is taxed. The website goes on to state that spousal support constitutes taxable income for the spouse receiving support, and tax deductible for the paying spouse. Depending on the situation, ex-spouses may also develop confusion over mediation guidelines, which the court’s website also clarifies. There are often many other steps involved in this major life change, and those going through this chapter can look to state resources for further information.