Temporary spousal support is often awarded at an Order to Show Cause. This usually occurs when one spouse is unemployed or earning significantly less than the other spouse. The Superior Courts of Orange County and Los Angeles County have informally adopted a guideline called the Santa Clara Guideline formula for use in setting temporary spousal support. This guideline provides that spousal support can be up to 40% of his or her net monthly income, reduced by one-half of the receiving spouse’s net monthly income.
The Santa Clara guideline provides that spousal support can be up to 40% of his or her net monthly income, reduced by one-half of the receiving spouse’s net monthly income.”
If child support is being paid, the guideline level of child support is first calculated. Then, spousal support is determined. Learn more about child support or spousal support in California.
Is Spousal Support Tax Deductable?
The Internal Revenue Code provides that all spousal support payments are tax deductible by the paying spouse and taxable to the recipient spouse as “ordinary income.”
If I am not working right now, will I be required to find a job immediately?
At the Order to Show Cause hearing, the judge is not concerned about the employability of the wife or the spouse who is requesting support. At this stage, the judge simply wants to preserve the status quo and provide the wife with sufficient income for her basic needs, consistent with the parties’ lifestyle. While you may need to find employment in the future, the court does not expect someone who has been the primary caretaker of the children or a homemaker to seek immediate employment.