Spousal support

Spousal support (also known as alimony) is a court ordered payment from one spouse or domestic partner to help cover the other’s monthly expenses. In California, when it is between married persons, support is called spousal support. It’s called domestic partner support between domestic partners.

Spousal support

 We use spousal support to also mean domestic partner support, unless noted. 

A judge can make a spousal support order in a divorce, legal separation, or domestic violence restraining order case.

There are two types of spousal support

Temporary spousal support: An order for payments to a spouse before your case is final. You can ask for a temporary support order as soon as you file the case.

Temporary spousal support

Long-term spousal support: Support orders made at the end of the case (for example, in a Judgment). These are also called permanent support orders.

Long-term spousal support

Spousal and domestic partner support are difficult legal issues

We have information on this site to help you, but you may need more help.

 A lawyer or your court's Family Law Facilitator can help you:

  • Calculate spousal or domestic partner support
  • Figure out how long the support may last and how it may affect your taxes
  • Prepare court forms