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What Should I Know About Waiving Spousal Support in Divorce Mediation


Spousal support is a topic that comes up often in divorces. One spouse might have a need for it and the other spouse might vocalize disagreement in paying spousal support. When couples are using mediation or collaborative divorce and this topic comes up, it is important to understand all of the options.

Below are some considerations for spousal support:

  • If you are entitled to temporary spousal support, which is defined as the period of time when the divorce proceedings are underway, California courts use a calculator to determine the amount of money per month you will receive from your ex-spouse. The calculator is called the “DissoMaster” support calculation. 
  • The court will then weigh various established factors to determine if you are entitled to spousal support as part of your final divorce judgment.

Here are just a few of the factors the court uses to determine if you are entitled to spousal support as part of your divorce judgment:

Spousal Support
  • The length of the marriage. If your marriage lasted 10 years or more, the court reserves the issue of spousal support. In other words, the court will have ongoing decision-making authority with regard to spousal support if you and your spouse cannot agree.  For marriages less than 10 years, the duration is generally for half the length of the marriage.
  • The age and health of both spouses.
  • The earning capacity of each party.
  • The marketable skills of the party seeking support and the amount of time it may take for that party to develop marketable skills.
  •  The extent to which you may have assisted your spouse to obtain education or training that led to the spouse obtaining a professional license.
  • The obligations and assets of each party, including their separate property.
  • The ability of the spouse to make spousal support payments considering his or her earning capacity.
  • The standard of living the couple enjoyed while married.
  • Whether there are minor children that need to be cared for.
  •  Any history of domestic violence by either party.
  • Any other factors the court deems relevant.

One of the advantages of the mediation and the collaborative processes is that they allow for more opportunities for creative settlements than what a court could do. For example, the couple could agree to a lump sum buyout of spousal support or a waiver of spousal support in exchange for something else.  Creativity in settlement options is one of the hallmarks of mediation and collaborative divorce as the couple is not strictly constrained to the confines of the law as they would be if a judge were deciding.

Contact Attorney Rebecca Medina Before Waiving Spousal Support During Mediation

If you have questions about spousal support, you should discuss them with a legal professional for further discussion, contact Rebecca Medina at 559-324-5427 in Fresno or 858-285-4315 in San Diego. You can also contact her online to schedule a consultation.

Rebecca MedinaAbout the Author: Rebecca Medina

Rebecca Medina is an experienced Family Law attorney, mediator and Collaborative Divorce Lawyer serving the Fresno and San Diego areas. She handles cases ranging from complex divorce matters to child custody, spousal support, prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, QDROs and uncontested divorce cases. She was rated “Clients’ Choice” by Avvo.

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