Can a Spouse Get Spousal Support if They Work?

Every married couple is different, and so are their financial situations. You can have two couples who are divorcing where both husbands are the main breadwinners, but the husbands have very different views on paying their wives support. For example, with couple A, the husband had an affair with his secretary and he feels bad about it. So, he has every desire to pay spousal support during and after his divorce.

Then, you have couple B. From the day they returned home from their honeymoon, they seemed to fight about everything from how she loads the dishwasher to how he spends too much time with his buddies on the weekends.

With couple B, the husband earns significantly more than the wife, but he’s bitter and bent on not paying her a penny in spousal support. However, it’s not necessarily up to him. If his wife wants to ask the judge for spousal support, the judge presiding over their case will look at the facts closely and then render a decision – not the husband!

What happens when a spouse has a job?

There are two main misconceptions about spousal support in California: 1) that spousal support is automatically awarded in all divorces, and 2) that only stay-at-home parents and homemakers are entitled to spousal support.

First, spousal support is not automatically awarded in a California divorce. Rather, the decision to award spousal support is handled on a case-by-case basis. Secondly, stay at home moms and dads and homemakers are not the only ones entitled to support.

Let’s say a wife works full-time, does that mean that her husband won’t have to pay her spousal support? It depends on a variety of factors, for example, the wife’s need for support and her husband’s ability to pay it. If her husband earns significantly more than her, then it is possible that a judge will order the husband to pay spousal support.

For example, let’s say the husband earns $200,000 a year, while his wife earns $30,000 a year working full-time. She doesn’t have the college education or job skills that her husband has. Since it’s so expensive to live in Southern California, there’s a very good chance that the judge would order her husband to pay spousal support.

Can men receive spousal support?

Yes, absolutely. The family courts do not pay attention to whether it’s a husband or a wife seeking spousal support. Instead, they look at other factors, such as one spouse’s contribution as a stay-at-home parent and of course, the discrepancy between the spouse’s individual income and assets.

If the husband earns significantly less than his wife, he would have the same right to ask for spousal support as a wife would.

If you are looking for an Encino divorce lawyer, contact Cutter & Lax to discuss your case with a board certified family law specialist!