Do You have to Pay Your Ex-Husband Spousal Support (Alimony)?

Most people hold a preconceived notion that husbands pay wives spousal support upon filling for divorce or legal separation. Contrary to popular belief, the courts do not discriminate between men or women when it comes to paying spousal support. In fact, there has been a significant increase in women paying spousal and child support to their ex-husbands. So, what does this mean for your spousal support case? You may be ordered to pay spousal support depending on how much money you make.

California Guideline Spousal Support Overview

In California, the courts use a guideline spousal support formula to determine the amount of temporary spousal support to be paid to a spouse.  Two common formulas used include Alameda County and Santa Clara County.

Santa Clara County guideline formula is computed by taking 40% of the net income of the payor spouse, minus 50% of the net income of the payee spouse, adjusted for tax consequences. If a request for child support has been made, temporary support is calculated on net income not allocated to child support or child related expenses.

Alameda County guideline formula requires that the support to be paid by a spouse to be approximately 40% of their total monthly income. This amount is divided by half of the total monthly income earned by the receiving spouse. The calculation of spousal support is computed after child support is determined.

So, the bottom line is, the court will use a guideline support formula to determine who pays temporary spousal support. If you earn more than your spouse, you may be required to pay him/her spousal support. In determining the amount and duration of a permanent spousal support order, the court is required to consider the relative financial positions of each party, including their education, job skills, experience, and earning capacity.

Contact a divorce attorney to obtain an official court approved spousal support calculation. 

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