Divorce signature, marriage dissolution document.

How Much Spousal Support Will I Pay in San Francisco?

If you’re involved in a divorce and your spouse requests alimony, you’re probably wondering how much you could be on the hook for. Today, we’re discussing how California courts calculate alimony, so you know what to expect.

To schedule a consultation with our team or learn more about alimony in California, contact us online or via phone at (415) 805-9069.

What’s the Point of Spousal Support?

Spousal support exists to help a party who may lack financial stability maintain a good quality of life during or after a divorce. Contrary to some beliefs, spousal support is not intended to help a party maintain a life of luxury or excess – instead, its purpose is to ensure an individual’s basic needs are met.

In California, the length of spousal support arrangements largely depends on the details of the case. For example, a party may obtain a temporary spousal support order that only lasts until the divorce gets finalized, or a permanent spousal support order with no set termination date.

Your divorce attorney can help you determine what kind of spousal support arrangement you should pursue.

How Much Spousal Support Will I Pay in California?

How much spousal support you pay largely depends on the circumstances of your case. Courts calculate alimony differently on a county-by-county basis in California, so estimating how much spousal support you’ll pay can be difficult.

As a rule of thumb, courts often ballpark spousal support arrangements to cost the payor roughly 40% of their net monthly income (after deducting taxes, social security, etc.), minus an additional one-half of the recipient’s net monthly income.

However, the following factors could change the outcome of your case:

  • The length of the marriage and quality of life established during the union;
  • Whether a child custody or support arrangement also plays a role;
  • The income and property of each party;
  • Whether either party contributed to the other’s training or career;
  • The taxes each party pays;
  • Whether domestic violence plays a role in the case;
  • The age and health of both parties; and
  • Any other factors the court considers relevant.

At Fenchel Family Law PC, we can help you pursue an equitable outcome in your spousal support case.

To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (415) 805-9069.