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Spousal Support and Partner Support Staff Writer

Monday, June 09, 2014

Spousal Support and Partner Support
Spousal or Partner Support

Under certain circumstances, a court may order a spouse or domestic partner to pay support to the other spouse or domestic partner. Spousal support or domestic partner support can be requested in the course of several types of court actions: divorce; separation; annulment; or an action brought for a restraining order based on domestic violence.

During the course of the action, the court typically issues a temporary order of support. The order directs one spouse/partner to pay support to the other spouse/partner while the action is pending. In California, that temporary order is usually based on a formula that slightly differs depending on the county in which the action is pending. The formula for temporary support is based on local rules and can be found for your particular county here:

By the end of the court action, the court will usually issue a final order of support based on several factors in California Family Code §4320. Those factors include: the length of the marriage/partnership; each party’s needs based on his/her standard of living during the marriage/partnership; the amount each person does or can pay to maintain that standard of living; whether childcare would be affected by employment; each party’s age and health; the parties’ debts and property; whether support will assist a spouse/partner in obtaining education, training, a professional license or a career; whether a party’s career was impacted by unemployment or childcare or maintaining the home; the tax consequences of support. Using those factors, the court will issue a final support order, which will become part of the judgment granting divorce, separation, annulment or restraining order.


DO request spousal/domestic partner support in the course of an action for divorce, separation, annulment, or an action brought for a restraining order based on domestic violence.

DO find your court’s formula for temporary support here

DO understand that the court considers various factors under California Family Code §4320 for a final order of support.

By Kathy Catanzarite

Source: Kathy Catanzarite - Staff Writer

Note from This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author,, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.

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