You may believe that spousal support is only awarded after a divorce settlement is reached. However, in California, the spouse who has fewer financial resources can ask for temporary support until the case is resolved. The amount of support that is granted may be determined through a private agreement or through a court order.
In the absence of a written agreement with your spouse, a judge will take several factors into account to determine how much you may be entitled to. For instance, if you need $500 a month to cover a shortfall in your budget, your spouse will likely be ordered to pay that amount. Of course, that assumes that your estranged spouse has the ability to pay that much. If not, you could be awarded whatever he or she can afford to give you.
If your needs change
You may be entitled to additional alimony if your circumstances change after an initial order is issued. For instance, you may need more money after losing your job or because a child that you have custody of incurred a significant medical expense. Support payments may also be used to pay for your child’s educational expenses or for any other costs that your spouse agrees to help you cover. Conversely, if your income goes up after a support order is made, you may see a reduction in payments.
Alimony awards are granted based on your needs at the time of a separation or divorce. You can use bank statements, tax records or other financial documents to prove that you need support from your spouse to make ends meet. You can also use a lease agreement, insurance statement or other documents to verify your expenses.