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Spousal Support

Fresno Family Law Firm Manages Spousal Support Issues

Excellent results achieved through negotiation and litigation

The decision to dissolve your marriage disrupts numerous aspects of your life, including your finances. That’s why it’s important during the divorce process to achieve certain goals that put you on a more secure financial footing. One major goal should be to resolve the issue of spousal support on favorable terms. Whether you are expecting to pay alimony or receive it, you need capable representation.  At Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation, we have the knowledge and experience to achieve fair settlements through negotiation or mediation, and to obtain favorable orders at trial.

Types of alimony available in California

California Family Code § 4320 covers how courts should handle issues of spousal support. The types of alimony available in a California divorce include:

  • Temporary alimony — Support paid to a dependent spouse after a petitioner files for divorce until the court officially dissolves the marriage.
  • Rehabilitative alimony — Support paid until the recipient spouse has become self-supporting.
  • Permanent alimony — Support that continues indefinitely until the death or remarriage of the recipient spouse.
  • Reimbursement alimony — An amount intended to reimburse one spouse for the expenses of the other.  This is appropriate when one spouse has sacrificed for the benefit of the other, as when personal or marital assets go to pay for one spouse’s education or job training.
  • Lump-sum alimony — In lieu of a property settlement, one spouse can make a one-time payment of support.

In practical terms, courts tend to hold marriages that lasted less than 10 years to rehabilitative alimony, lasting no longer than half the duration of the marriage. Thus, a dependent spouse in an eight-year marriage can probably expect four years of rehabilitative alimony. Marriages lasting more than 10 years are more likely to get an order of permanent alimony. However, before issuing any alimony award, the court must apply the factors set forth in § 4320.

Court factors for California alimony

California Family Code § 4320 requires the court to consider a long list of factors in calculating support, including these considerations:

  • The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Each party’s marketable skills
  • Extent to which a supported spouse’s earning capacity has been limited by time devoted to domestic duties
  • Extent to which the contributions of a supported spouse have enhanced the earning ability of a supporting spouse
  • Each party’s obligations and assets
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The ability of a supported spouse to work without interfering with child custody responsibilities
  • The age and health of each party
  • Any history of domestic violence, including a criminal conviction for spousal abuse
  • The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party
  • The balance of the hardships to each party
  • The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time
  • Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable

California family law gives great discretion to judges, so unless you have a knowledgeable and determined advocate on your side, you are in jeopardy of an adverse decision that could negatively affect your finances for years to come. Our firm knows how to raise the issues and highlight the facts necessary to make a persuasive argument in our client’s favor.

Contact an experienced Fresno divorce lawyer for a consultation on alimony

Gates Law Group, A Professional Corporation handles every aspect of divorce litigation, including spousal support, throughout California. Please call 559-432-9944 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our firm’s main office is in Fresno, but we also assist clients from locations in Paso Robles and Visalia.


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  • Fresno Office
    2445 Capitol St
    Ste 150A
    Fresno, California 93721
    Phone: 559-432-9944
    Fax: 866-740-6678
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