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Manual > 10 - Mediating Support Issues > Spousal Support > California Context

California Context

(do not rely on this as a current statement of the law)

Factors to consider

The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage considering:  

  • the marketable skills of the supported party; the job market and the possible need for retraining or education;
  • the extent to which the supported party's earning capacity is impaired by period of unemployment during marriage;
  • the extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, career or license by the supporting party;
  • the ability of the supporting party to pay;
  • the needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage;
  • the obligations and assets, including the separate property of each party; and
  • the duration of the marriage (FC 4320).

Retention of Jurisdiction

There is a presumption that a marriage of 10 years or more, from the date of the marriage to the date of separation, is a marriage of long duration (FC 4336).

Modification of Agreement

An agreement for the support of either party is subject to subsequent modification or termination by the court except;

an agreement may not be modified or terminated prior to filing date; and
an agreement may not be modified if there is a written agreement specifically providing that spousal support is not subject to modification or termination (FC 3591)

Termination of Support

The Obligation for spousal support in California terminates upon death of either party or the remarriage of the supported party (FC 4337).

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