As the structures of families in California change, so too do the arrangements under which adults work to earn money. In the past it was not uncommon for a family to subsist on a single income; today many families need both adults to work in order to make ends meet. The decisions that a couple make regarding who will work outside of the home and who will attend to domestic responsibilities can affect how alimony decisions are made if the couple later files for divorce.
According to the California Courts, a judge may consider number of factors when deciding if one partner should pay the other spousal maintenance after their marriage ends. One of those factors includes whether a partner saw his or her earning capacity drop due to removing him or herself from the workforce for the sake of the family during the marriage. When individuals put their careers on hold for family commitments they can later experience challenges getting back to earning their previous salaries and courts may look at their sacrifices when calculating support awards.
Whether a partner was employed outside of the home is only one of many considerations a court can make in its spousal support analysis. Courts can also look at how long the couple endured in the marriage before calling it quits. A court can also investigate and factor in instances of violence between the spouses as a factor in providing for one of the divorcing partners.
Calculating alimony is a case-specific process and no two determinations will look exactly the same. For these reasons individuals who read this California family law blog should consider this post as informational only. Attorneys who work in the family law field can provide guided information to those seeking specific help with their alimony questions.