San Francisco Spousal Support Attorney

San Francisco Spousal Support Attorney


San Francisco spousal support lawyer Keith F. Carr represents clients in California spousal support proceedings.  The Law Offices of Keith F. Carr has extensive legal knowledge and experience in cases involving spousal support.  Spousal support proceedings are often a source of tension and stress at the beginning of a divorce.

One of the primary services provided by a San Francisco spousal support attorney is to ensure that clients obtain fair and appropriate spousal support court orders in light of the spouses’ circumstances. Attorney Keith F. Carr will advocate on behalf of clients and present compelling arguments to the court to establish fair spousal support payments or to establish an exception to a spousal support payment order to limit its effect. 

Do You Need An Attorney For Spousal Support? 

No, it is not mandatory under California law for you to have a lawyer in a divorce spousal support proceeding. However, without a knowledgeable attorney representing you in a spousal support proceeding,  a person will have a difficult time presenting a case or defense to spousal support. A spouse’s financial difficulties will be amplified should a spousal support order be obtained without opposing it in some fashion under California law.

What is Spousal support?

Spousal support or Alimony  provides financial assistance to the lower-earning spouse during and after a divorce proceeding by the higher-earning spouse. Spousal support ensures that both parties can maintain a similar standard of living established during marriage. 

Two Types of Spousal Support

In California, spousal support can be temporary or “permanent” or long-term, depending on the circumstances of each case.

Temporary Spousal Support

Temporary spousal support is ordered at any time during the divorce process, and is meant to provide financial assistance to the lower-earning spouse while the case is pending. Although other factors may be considered, temporary spousal support in California is primarily determined by reference to a formula, and is often referred to “guideline” support. This calculation for guideline support is: 

Subtract half of the net monthly income of the lower-earning spouse from 40% of the net monthly income of the higher-earning spouse. For an estimate of spousal support, visit: California Spousal Support Calculator

California law permits a temporary award of temporary spousal support where based on two conditions: the supported party’s needs, and the other party’s ability to pay. Read more of Family Code Section 3600.

Permanent, Long Term, Spousal Support

On the other hand, permanent spousal support is ordered, if at all, after a trial on the issue of support. As a benchmark, California law provides that its duration may be determined as half the time of the marriage. This California law is not mandatory, and one spouse may show additional circumstances, such as a marriage of long duration over ten years, that necessitate granting permanent spousal support for a longer period of time. See Family Code Section 4336 for indefinite jurisdiction to award spousal support.

In ordering permanent spousal support, the court will base its decision upon certain factors. For a listing of such factors under California Family Code Section 4320, read more about Protecting Your Rights.


The Law Offices of Keith F. Carr is an experienced spousal support attorney in San Francisco. Keith F. Carr has been representing clients in spousal support for 35 years.

Whether you are seeking permanent spousal support after a long-term marriage or temporary spousal support during the divorce process, Keith F. Carr understands the complexities of California spousal support laws and can advocate for your rights to ensure a fair spousal support award.

Do not let spousal support challenges overwhelm you. Schedule a consultation.

About Author

Keith F. Carr is an attorney practicing Divorce, Estate Planning, and Bankruptcy. Attorney Keith F. Carr has over 30 years experience. Founder of Law Offices of Keith F. Carr, located in San Francisco, San Jose, and Palo Alto, Ca.

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