The court will consider many facts about your marriage when it makes determinations about spousal support.

According to the Judicial Branch of California, a judge will look at how long your marriage lasted, your earning abilities and the lifestyle you had during your marriage when making decisions about awards.

Standard of living

Your standard of living includes the general things you were used to having during the marriage. For example, if you were used to eating out every night or going on lavish vacations, these things do factor into your overall lifestyle.

A judge will seek to help you and your spouse maintain a standard of living close to that of your marriage if possible. If your spouse earns much more money than you do, it is possible for him or her to have to pay you spousal support that allows you to continue living as you did during the marriage.

You should note, though, that the judge will not make it so your spouse is paying so much support that he or she cannot maintain the same standard of living as you. So, it is possible that neither of you will be able to continue with the same lifestyle after the divorce even with spousal support.

Changes

It is possible that you or your spouse may request a modification of the original court order. For example, if your spouse loses income, he or she may request a reduction in payments. This could impact your ability to maintain your lifestyle, but it keeps in line with the court’s goal of ensuring equality.