Alimony, or spousal support, can be requested in California. This is generally done when one person is a higher earner and the other is not. The divorce would see be seen as financially harmful to the person with the lower earning capacity, who wouldn’t be able to support themselves, so they can request support for a set amount of time.
Of course, not everyone qualifies for spousal support. It is certainly not a given in any divorce case. What criteria do you have to meet to qualify?
Areas for legal consideration
Each case is going to be considered on an individual basis, looking at the specifics of the divorce and how other financial issues – such as child support – are being handled. But there are four main criteria that the court will look at in this situation. The person requesting support may show that they:
- Are unable to support themselves, perhaps due to mental or physical impairment
- Do not have the property they require – such as food, clothing, and shelter – to address their basic needs
- Do not have the earning capacity to meet their needs and uphold their standard of living
- Have a child who requires significant care
Now, all of these criteria do not have to be met in every situation. Someone who has no earning capacity could still get alimony, for instance, even if they do not have a child that requires significant care. But these are the four main areas that the court will look at, and so they are important to keep in mind when considering your legal options.