What Is the Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Spousal Support?

Child and spousal support, Divorce, Divorce settlement, Legal Separation

Spousal support, sometimes referred to as spousal maintenance or by the traditional term alimony, comes in two different forms in California. Spousal support can either be temporary or it can be permanent.

The type of spousal support ordered more or less depends on the point at which it is ordered during divorce proceedings. The basic differences are that temporary spousal support is ordered during a pending divorce and is often calculated by a guideline calculator, much like child support.

On the other hand, permanent spousal support is awarded after a court has ordered the dissolution of a marriage. Either of the two types may be modified after an award has been made.

Temporary Spousal Support

As mentioned, temporary spousal support is awarded during a divorce proceeding, annulment proceeding, or during legal separation. One party makes a request to the court for such spousal support, and the court often uses a guideline calculator to determine what amount – if any – is appropriate for a temporary spousal support order. However, according to the local rules for courts in San Diego County, San Diego County has declined to adopt a specific guideline calculator and will instead use any relevant information in determining the possibility and amount of temporary spousal support. For the purpose of determining orders for temporary spousal support, courts tend to only consider the information required to complete a guideline calculator and determine the requesting party’s need for support and the other party’s ability to pay support.

Permanent Spousal Support

Permanent spousal support is determined and awards at the time a divorce is finalized. An additional difference is that permanent spousal support is not determined by using a guideline calculator. In fact, California courts prohibit the use of such guideline calculators in establishing or recommending permanent spousal support. While factors considered in temporary spousal support decisions are generally limited to one party’s need and the other party’s ability to pay, some factors a judge may use in determining the amount – if any – that may be owed in permanent spousal support include:

  •      Length of the marriage or domestic partnership;
  •      Each person’s needs based on the established standard of living;
  •      Age and health of both people;
  •      Debts and property of both people;
  •      Role each spouse played in the educational or career development of the other spouse;
  •      Whether one spouse stayed out of the workforce to raise children or would need to do so after divorce; and
  •      Tax implications of spousal support.

Permanent spousal support may not be entirely permanent, either. There are several circumstances in which permanent spousal support can be rescinded, including:

  •      Remarriage of the person receiving support;
  •      Death of either the recipient or provider of support;
  •      Expiration of a predetermined length of time from the court; and
  •      Change in the circumstances of one or both of the parties that affects need and/or the ability to pay.

More Information

If you have questions or concerns about spousal support, including whether or not it may apply to you during divorce proceedings or once they are finalized, a family law attorney can explain the various legal aspects involved in determining and awarding such support. Family law attorneys often have guideline calculator templates to help determine what, if any, temporary spousal support is appropriate.

Contact JWB Family Law to schedule a consultation where your questions about spousal support can be answered in a clear, direct way. Divorce is never an easy process, but a family law attorney with experience handling the various, dynamic aspects of divorce can help the process be less unpredictable.

Getting divorced in San Diego County? Call us today. 619.234.6123

JWB Family Law Free Consultation San Diego

2021 Christmas Street Stocking

Here are examples of community property and separate property:

Who gets inheritance money after a divorce?

Here are examples of community property and separate property:

Child custody schedule options and examples

When you are in a proceeding to decide how to share the custody and visitation of your children, many decisions must be made by you and the other parent on how you will co-parent your minor children. If you are unable to reach an agreement, the court will make a...

What’s worth fighting for in a divorce?

Here are examples of community property and separate property:

San Diego domestic violence resources

As in other counties in California, San Diego has resources you can contact to help you in a domestic violence case. A nd a dedicated family law and divorce attorney can help you legally enforce your separation from an abusive partner.

Military spouse benefits after a divorce

It is important to discuss all these topics with the military spouse divorce attorneys you retain to help guide you through the dissolution of your marriage. Military family law can be complex when it comes to divorce.

What not to post on social media during your divorce

Anything you post on social media during a divorce can, and likely will, be used against you in your dissolution proceedings. It is extremely important to avoid posting about getting divorced on all your social media profiles because anything that can be construed...

Helping a friend through divorce isn’t easy

A person going through a divorce is often dealing with the loss of time with their kids, a portion of their retirement, their house, and even relationships with their in-laws.

Child custody during the divorce process

There are two types of custody: legal and physical.

El Centro, California becomes the newest site for the Law Office of JWB Family Law

El Centro is the newest location for JWB Family Law, specializing in divorce, property division, child and spousal support, and more.