What is the Difference Between Spousal Support and Child Support in California?


August 29, 2022, In Spousal Support

At WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, our family law attorney in Los Angeles understands that it is impossible to know all the details of a California divorce unless you are talking about your own.

While each divorce’s outcome is different, the definitions involving some of the factors are the same.

Here, our Los Angeles divorce lawyers outline the meanings of, and the differences in, spousal support and child support in California.

What is the Definition of Spousal Support in California?

Whether it is called spousal support, spousal maintenance, or alimony, it is money paid by one spouse to the other during the divorce process and/or after the divorce is finalized by a California judge.

Spousal support is awarded to one spouse and is designed to allow the recipient to maintain his or her previous standard of living.

California spousal support may be awarded in one of three ways, including:

  • Temporary spousal support helps support one spouse during the divorce, or for a set amount of time thereafter, until he or she can recover financially and support themselves.
  • Rehabilitative spousal support is common for stay-at-home parents who require time to work towards financial independence after a divorce. It is designed to assist with job training or college expenses until he or she can eventually return to the workforce and support themselves.
  • Permanent spousal support is designed to support the spouse permanently which, in most cases, means until one spouse is deceased, or upon the recipient becoming remarried.

Spousal support is not mandatory in California and may be awarded by one spouse to another voluntarily, through negotiations, or by a judge.

What is the Definition of Child Support in California?

Child support, unlike spousal support, is the result of child custody arrangements and time-sharing responsibilities. The custodial parent, who is typically the one the children live with and spend most of their time with, is usually awarded child support during a California divorce.

Child support payments are in no way related to, or based upon, spousal support agreements and are used by the custodial parent for:

  • General household expenses, including food, shelter, and utilities.
  • Clothes and household furnishings.
  • Medical expenses, glasses, and dental care.
  • School supplies, books, school fees, and trips.
  • Sports, clubs, lessons, and extra-curricular activities.

All parenting agreements will differ, and the resulting child custody and support details will also reflect the best interests of the children.

Contact WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have questions about divorce, spousal support, child custody, and child support contact our skilled spousal support attorneys in Los Angeles at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC by calling 310-552-3505 to schedule a free consultation today.

We can help provide solutions that produce results.

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If you are considering a Divorce in Los Angeles, CA, Contact our experienced Attorney Today and Get a Free Consultation.

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