Spousal Support


Understanding Alimony in California Divorce

At Nachlis | Cohade | Lopez-Whitaker, LLP, our team of experienced attorneys specializes in family law matters, including spousal support cases, in San Francisco and the surrounding areas. 

We are committed to providing comprehensive legal services to individuals facing complex divorce and spousal support issues. 

You've come to the right place if you are looking for a skilled San Francisco alimony lawyer. 

Let us guide you through the intricacies of spousal support law in California.

Call Nachlis | Cohade | Lopez-Whitaker, LLP today at (415) 855-9344 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our alimony attorney in San Francisco!


Spousal support, often referred to as alimony, is a crucial aspect of divorce proceedings that aims to ensure financial stability for one spouse after the dissolution of a marriage. 

The higher-earning spouse typically provides this financial assistance to the lower-earning spouse to help them maintain a standard of living similar to what they enjoyed during the marriage.

The court can order spousal support as part of a divorce settlement, legal separation, or annulment. It is designed to address disparities in income and support the recipient spouse during the transition from a shared household to individual financial independence.

Diverse Types of Alimony in California

In California, there are several types of alimony, each with its unique characteristics and purposes:

  • Temporary Spousal Support: This type of support is awarded during the divorce process and is intended to provide financial assistance to the lower-earning spouse until a final spousal support order is established.
  • Rehabilitative Spousal Support: Rehabilitative support is aimed at helping the recipient spouse acquire the education, training, or skills needed to become self-sufficient and financially independent.
  • Permanent Spousal Support: Permanent support is typically awarded in long-term marriages where one spouse may not have the ability to become financially self-sufficient. It continues until a court order or agreement modifies or terminates it.
  • Reimbursement Spousal Support: This type of support is ordered when one spouse supports the other in obtaining an education or training that benefits both parties. It is a reimbursement for the supporting spouse's contributions.
  • Lump-Sum Spousal Support: A one-time, lump-sum payment can be ordered instead of ongoing periodic payments. This is often chosen when both parties agree on a specific financial arrangement.


Determining eligibility for spousal support in a divorce depends on various factors, including:

  • Duration of the Marriage: Longer marriages are more likely to result in spousal support orders, as spouses often have greater financial interdependence.
  • Income Disparities: Courts consider each spouse's income and earning capacity. Spousal support is more likely if one spouse earns significantly more than the other.
  • Contributions to the Marriage: Contributions made by each spouse during the marriage, such as caring for children or supporting the other's career, are considered.
  • Health and Age: The health and age of both spouses are considered significant if they affect the ability to work and earn an income.
  • Standard of Living: The court aims to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage for the lower-earning spouse, if possible.
  • Agreements: The court will often honor those terms if spouses have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that addresses spousal support.

It's important to note that spousal support can be modified or terminated under certain circumstances, such as a change in the financial situation of either party, cohabitation, or remarriage of the recipient spouse.

Duration of Alimony Payments in California

The duration of spousal support will depend on individual circumstances, such as how long the marriage lasted, the ages and health of the parties, their financial needs, resources, and liabilities, and many other considerations. 

Because of the complexity of this issue and how it relates to your circumstances, your financial interests will be best served by working with an experienced family law attorney

Our firm has assisted countless clients in seeking, contesting, enforcing, and modifying this support through the courts.

Get Expert Alimony Assistance in San Francisco

Navigating the complexities of spousal support in a divorce can be overwhelming, but you don't have to face it alone. 

At Nachlis | Cohade | Lopez-Whitaker, LLP, our team of skilled San Francisco spousal support lawyers is here to provide you with the guidance and representation you need during this challenging time. 

We understand the intricacies of California's spousal support laws and will work to protect your interests.

Ready for Alimony Solutions? Contact Us Now!