What is the Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Spousal Support?

Temporary spousal support is intended to enable the recipient to live in his or her accustomed manner pending the outcome of the dissolution.  In calculating temporary spousal support the court will use a computer program where data is imputed to show how much support the recipient is entitled to.  The court does not consider the California Family Code Section 4320 when calculating temporary spousal support.  A temporary spousal support order is made without prejudice to a court making a different order for permanent support.

In contrast, permanent spousal support is intended “to provide financial assistance, if appropriate, as determined by the financial circumstances of the parties after their dissolution and the division of their community property.” In determining spousal support at trial, a court must apply the factors set forth in California Family Code section 4320. When calculating permanent spousal support a judge cannot defer his responsibility of making a decision of awarding spousal support to the computer based temporary support guideline.  The judge must consider the factors outlined in Section 4320.

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