Spousal Support California

Spousal Support California

Spousal Support California


Quick Guide to Spousal Support in California


Is there a Spousal Support Calculator in California?


The state of California has many laws that address spousal support.  Many courts also follow a standard formula for calculating spousal support in California; however, there is no formal calculator throughout the state.  Instead, some courts choose to follow the Santa Clara County Formula to calculate spousal support in California.  


How does the Santa Clara Formula Work?


The formula in which the Santa Clara County Court uses addresses how much spousal maintenance is needed and how long spousal maintenance should be paid.  The final result of the formula may vary according to different conditions within California law and the divorce itself.  These conditions will be explained further below, but the standard Santa Clara County formula is used as follow:


The total amount of spousal maintenance= (the supporting spouse’s adjusted gross income X 40%) – (Supported spouse’s adjusted gross income X 50%)


The Santa Clara County formula also establishes how low the spousal support in California must be paid.  The duration of spousal support is calculated using the following formulas:


1) Marriage 0-10 years: Length of marriage X 50%

2) Marriage 10-20 years: (Number of months in marriage) X (number of months again) / (240) 

3) Marriage of 20 years or more: support may equal total length of marriage


What May affect the average adjusted gross income?


There are a variety of factors that may affect spousal support.  California has many laws that address spousal maintenance, and if the court decides to use the Santa Clara formula, a spouse’s income tax and social security payments are subtracted from the average gross income.  


Other factors that influence adjusted net income factors and the total amount of spousal support in California are conditions under Form 157 Spousal or Partner Support Declaration Statement.  This form is located on the official website of the state’s Judicial Court, and some of the conditions within the form may influence the overall spousal support in California:


1) What job skills, education, and work history does each party have?

2) What is the current job market for those job skills?

3) What amount of time does the supported party need to improve their education or job skills to become marketable?

4) Has either party made contributions to the other spouse’s career, education, or increases in salary?

5) What is the supporting party’s total income from employment, investments, retirement, and other sources besides social security?

6) What is the supporting party’s standard of living, and how may it change once the divorce occurs?

7) What personal AND joint marital assets and liabilities does each spouse own?

8) What was the length of the marriage?

9) Can the supported party work without interfering with their duties as a parent?

10) What is the age and current mental and physical health of each spouse?

11) Has there ever been evidence of domestic violence between the parties as defined in Family Code Section 6211?

12) What are the tax consequences for each spouse?


How Can I find forms for Spousal Support around California and Santa Clara?


There is no official form for spousal support in California because most of the cases are settled in court unless two spouses reach an agreement outside of court.  You will be required to submit certain forms so a judge can oversee your finances and child support, though.  Some of these forms include the following, and you can submit these forms to the County Clerk:  


FL-105 Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

FL-120 Response-Marriage (Lists all debts and liabilities)

FL-130 Appearance, Stipulations, and Waivers (for child support)

FL-150 Income and Expense Declaration




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