A family provides its members with many things--including emotional and financial support. When divorce or separation causes the breakdown of a family, there is not much a court can do about the members' loss of emotional support; however it is possible for the courts to provide a continuation of the financial support for both the former spouse/partner and the children.
If you are married or in a Registered Domestic Partnership, then you are entitled to temporary, and sometimes long-term, spousal support (sometimes referred to as "alimony") from your spouse. Generally, the higher earning party can be ordered by the court to support the lower earning party until that person has the ability to support himself or herself. The court's rules for spousal support vary greatly from the rules for child support, so it is important to seek legal advice whether you are requesting support or your spouse is requesting that you pay spousal support.
Even if you were not married, if you have a child, then you are entitled to child support from the child's other parent. Generally, child support is calculated based on each parent's income and the timeshare he or she has with the child. Child support continues until the child has reached the age of 18, or if he or she is still in high school at age 18, until the conclusion of high school.
To learn more about the issues of Spousal Support and/or Child Support, please visit the pages listed below or call us at (510) 537-7200 or contact us online.