Spousal support is not a one-size-fits-all calculation in California, and in fact, judges consider requests on a case-by-case basis. Receiving the amount and duration of support you want may very well come down to the details about your marriage that you present to the judge.
Certain factors are essential when awarding long-term or permanent spousal support, according to California law.
Duration of the marriage
Short-term marriages rarely result in permanent spousal support. However, if you and your spouse have a long history together, a judge is more likely to consider that your years of non-financial contributions to the marriage have weight in the calculation of long-term financial support.
Ability to pay
If your spouse is a high-income earner and has been supporting the family for years, the judge may note that continuing to support you will not cause hardship for him or her. However, losing the spouse’s support would cause you hardship if you have not worked outside the home for most of your marriage.
With education and training, you could support yourself, but starting at the bottom of the career ladder at this point in your life is not likely to take you very high by retirement. A judge would consider this information relevant, and in your request, you may also point out the opportunities for earning potential that you gave up so you could continue your nonfinancial role in the marriage.
The law gives the judge discretion to consider any factor that is just and equitable, so you can mine the unique aspects of your marriage for relevant information to include in your request for permanent spousal support.