How Do You Calculate California Spousal Support?

Use a California spousal support calculator, such as the one provided by Cristin Lowe Law, to estimate a probable amount. In California, the court calculates the temporary amount of spousal support by consulting county guidelines at the beginning of the case, explains the Judicial Council of California. When the court finalizes the decision, it considers many other factors before deciding on an amount of spousal support, as well as the duration of the support.

To calculate the amount of temporary spousal support in Santa Clara County, the court subtracts 50 percent of the net income of the person requesting support from 40 percent of the net income of the person paying the support, according to DivorceNet. The court also makes adjustments to this number to respond to tax considerations and any applicable child support. While the court often follows these guidelines, judicial discretion allows the court to set spousal support in any amount.

The California courts determine a final spousal support amount that allows the spouse receiving the support to keep a standard of living that is close to the standard set during the marriage, notes DivorceNet. When determining this amount, the courts may also consider the length of time spent in the marriage, the marketable skills of the spouse requesting support, the time required to gain more experience or education to increase employment opportunities, and the impact of domestic duties on the spouse's earning potential. However, the court also requires the spouse seeking support to work towards total self-sufficiency, and permanent spousal support is rare.