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How is spousal support calculated in California?

When California residents get a divorce, you'll likely be dealing with spousal support as well. But just what goes into determining the details of spousal support payments? How are these payments calculated, and how is it decided who will pay and who will receive?

The California Courts has a page dedicated to spousal or partner support, which takes a look at these questions. First of all, it should be known that spousal support payments do not go on indefinitely. There are several reasons it can come to an end, including the receiving ex-partner remarrying, the paying ex-partner remarrying, either person gaining or losing a job, or reaching the termination of the payment plan.

Essentially, any change in either yours or your ex-spouse's financial situation will have an impact on the support payments. They are not fixed, and can fluctuate as the financial needs of both parties change. For example, if you lose your job and are paying support, your payments may be reduced to accommodate your lower wages. If you get a promotion and are receiving payments, these payments may be reduced as you don't need as much support.

Generally speaking, the partner who has the lower financial income will be the one getting payments, while the one with a higher source of income or net worth will be making them. This is determined through savings, current jobs at the time of the payment plans, and child custody matters if children are involved.

If you need help handling matters of spousal support, consider speaking with an attorney with experience with divorce law, as they can guide you through the process carefully.

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