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California Spousal Support Lawyers

Experienced Alimony Lawyers Guiding You Through Your Case

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support, commonly referred to as “alimony”, is a legal obligation for one spouse to provide financial assistance to the other in order to maintain the marital standard of living, both during and after their divorce. California laws regarding spousal support are gender neutral and do not contain fault-based limitations.

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Why Does Alimony Exist?

While the primary purpose of spousal support is to make sure the spouse with less financial stability is capable of maintaining the marital standard of living post-separation, spousal support also gives the lower income spouse time to acquire the necessary skills to become self-supporting.

How is Spousal Support Calculated?

One of the first things divorcing parties want to know is exactly how much spousal support they should expect to receive or pay. Unfortunately, there is no black letter law that attorneys can use to calculate a spousal support order. At the beginning of the case, there can be more certainty in terms of predicting a spousal support order. However, long term spousal support awards are based on a set of factors weighed by the court and different judges may make different orders based on the same set of facts. At Cage & Miles, our spousal support attorneys have years of experience helping our clients resolve their spousal support cases by fighting to make sure that the amount of support awarded is fair and equitable.


  • Q: How long does spousal support last?

  • A: There are two main types of spousal support:
    • Temporary support: This type of support is paid prior to entry of divorce and finalization of the case. It is intended to help the parties maintain a financial “status quo” during the divorce process to the extent possible.
    • Permanent spousal support: “Permanent” spousal support is a bit of a misnomer because it is not necessarily intended to last forever. Instead, permanent spousal support is ordered at the end of a divorce case and is calculated differently than temporary spousal support. In most cases, the permanent award is lower than the temporary award.


  • Q: How does domestic violence impact spousal support orders?

  • A: A documented history of domestic violence or a criminal conviction for the same is a factor the court will consider when determining whether or not to order spousal support payable from the abused spouse to his or her abuser. In general, fault plays no role in the determination of spousal support. Behavior such as infidelity is irrelevant to spousal support calculations; however, domestic violence can prevent an abuser from receiving spousal support as a matter of public policy.


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"In the middle of a crisis, like a divorce where you need a lawyer, you need someone who can help you make sense of just about everything. This firm does just that! Michele and Liz are an incredible team, and they have a wonderful support staff! They focus on your goals and what you want (they like to point out “it is your life, and when we are gone you have to be happy with this”). They lay out the process and expectations very clearly. They work well with support counsel and outside specialists. You expect your lawyers to be good at the law – it was a wonderful experience to find two people who also have great compassion and sensitivity to what you are going through. They care and it shows in how they and their staff treat you from the first meeting to the last. I highly recommend Michele Lowenstein and Liz Brown."

Former clients share their experience

"A friend of mine had recommended Liz to me when I was exploring steps toward getting a divorce. That period, and the ensuing 1 ½ years to reach conclusion, were the most difficult time in my life. I could not have found a better lawyer and a more supportive team than the one in her office. I received what I perceived as the best professional and strategic guidance. During the process, I found that I could build trust with Liz and rely on her, which enabled me to manage my situation and reach conclusion while keeping my dignity intact, my professional life in order, and surviving the psychological stress of my divorce. I do not wish this experience to anyone, but if one concludes that a divorce is a necessary step, I recommend Liz Brown with my highest enthusiasm and without any reservations."

Former clients share their experience

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