Northridge, CA asked in Divorce and Family Law for California

Q: How to calculate a fair and reasonable spousal support?

My wife petitioned for divorce and we want an agreement for our divorce. I am the breadwinner, and my wife receives disability. How to calculate spousal support? Does the judge modify it even if the parties agree?

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2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In California, calculating spousal support considers factors like the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of each party, contributions to the household, the established standard of living, health, age, total assets and debts, tax implications, instances of domestic violence, and the goal of the receiving spouse to become self-supporting. In your situation, your wife's disability might be a significant factor, as it could limit her ability to earn. If both of you agree on a spousal support amount and present it as a stipulated agreement, judges often approve it unless they find it grossly unfair. However, the judge retains the authority to adjust the agreed amount if deemed necessary. Collaboration to reach a mutual agreement can help simplify the divorce process.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, spousal support is typically calculated based on various factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse's income, earning capacity, and standard of living during the marriage. While the parties can agree on spousal support terms, a judge may modify them if they find the agreement to be unfair or inadequate, ensuring that the support remains just and reasonable based on the circumstances. It's advisable to consult with an attorney to help negotiate and draft a fair and legally sound spousal support agreement.

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