California Divorce & Finances

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Separating joint finances in the midst of a California divorce is complicated business. Property, assets, and debts must be carefully evaluated. How will you deal with joint property? How will your taxes be affected? What estate planning issues need to be addressed? Will one spouse need to support the other for a time, and if so, for how much and how long? Following are some laws specific to California Divorce and Finances.

California Property Division/Community Property/Debts:

California is a community property state. For an explanation of community property rules and the division of property in community property states, see Dividing Up Property in a Divorce: Community Property vs. Equitable Distribution

California Spousal Support:

Spousal support is a regular amount of money that a court of law orders a person to pay to their partner after a divorce. When a court issues a decree for the dissolution of a marriage (a divorce), the court may also issue an order that either the husband or wife pay “just and reasonable” support for the other spouse.

This amount and the length of time it will be paid are determined by the court based upon factors such as the standard of living established during the marriage, the length of the marriage and the ability of the parties to pay support based upon current circumstances and resources. The court will balance the hardships to each party, taking into account factors such as minor children and the earning ability of each spouse.

The ultimate goal is that the supported party will become self-supporting within a “reasonable” period of time, and that for that “reasonable” period, spousal support will be paid. The court may order that the costs for training and education during that period also be paid as part of spousal support. The support will end when specific terms are met, for example, completion of a training program and obtaining a job. The length of time to pay spousal support has generally been held to be one-half the length of the marriage, except in the case of a marriage of “long duration.” “Long duration” usually means a marriage of ten years or longer, but the court may always order support for a greater or lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors the court weighs in making its decision.

You may need a lawyer to help you deal with the financial aspects of your divorce if you and your ex cannot agree. You can find a lawyer at:

California Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
Find an experienced California Divorce Attorney at
Find an Experienced California Child Support & Custody Lawyer at
How a Family Lawyer Can Help

California Divorce Laws: Click below to find the California Divorce laws you’re looking for:’
California Divorce & Separation
California Divorce & Children
California Divorce Laws & Resources

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