When one spouse is unemployed, or earns significantly less than the other spouse, they can be awarded temporary spousal support. In order to receive the temporary support they will be ordered to justify and prove this to a court via an order to show cause.
Santa Clara Guideline
The Superior Court of Los Angeles has adopted the Santa Clara Guideline formula that sets temporary spousal support. The Santa Clara Guideline provides that spousal support can make up 40% of his or her net monthly income. It is reduced by one-half of the net monthly income of the spouse receiving the support.
How Does Child Support Relate in Temp Spousal Support?
Under the Santa Clara Guideline, if child support is being paid, then the level of the child support is first to be calculated. Once determined, then spousal support is determined. Essentially, the rights of children are always placed first in the mind of the court – the best interest of the child is always the court’s priority.
Order to Show Cause Hearing
If you are applying for temporary spousal support you will be required to go to an order to show cause hearing. During this hearing, the judge is not going to be concerned about the employability of the spouse requesting the support. During this hearing, the judge is determining and how to preserve the status quo for the spouse requesting support. The goal is to ensure the spouse receiving support has sufficient income for basic needs that are consistent with the standard of living that was set during the marriage. It may be ruled that employment will need to be sought out eventually, but the court does not have any expectations for the primary caretaker to seek immediate employment. It is important that an effort to get financially stable be made by the caretaker.
Source: CAdivorce.com, How is Temporary Spousal Support Determined?, 2014
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