The Court uses the California Alimony Calculator to establish temporary alimony in order to compute the amount that the supported party will be paid while the divorce is in process.
In order for a judge to make a decision what amount will be placed into the divorce judgment, he will consider many factors other than the California Alimony Calculator. You can find out more about those factors in spousal support page of our website.
After the divorce is complete it is still possible to ask the court for an order to modify or terminate spousal support. “Modification” is when the court orders a change to the amount or duration of spousal support previously ordered by the court.
“Termination” is when a court orders the end of orders regarding spousal support.
There are four situations in which the post – judgment modification and termination are not possible:
- Under family Code 3591 (c) and 3651 (d) the parties can expressly agree that the amount or duration of spousal support may not be modified or terminated;
- Under the family code 4335 the court can set spousal support for a definite period of time in its original order and did not retain jurisdiction to extend the duration of support
- Jurisdiction over spousal support has terminated by operation of law according to Family Code 4337
- under the terms of the judgment or agreement according to Family Code 4336 (a)
The California Alimony Calculator might be useful after a spousal support order is made if one of the ex-spouses’ economic circumstances have changed significantly. Either of the ex-spouses may ask court to
modify the order at a later date.
Some examples of a change of circumstances are, a decrease or increase in the supporting party’s ability to pay and/or an increase or decrease in the supported party’s needs. It includes all factors affecting need and the ability to pay.
A court has authority to reconsider a temporary spousal support order as well.
California Alimony Calculator – Use of Support Guidelines
Many courts use a California Alimony Calculator to determine temporary spousal support based on the income and itemized deductions of spouses.
Local rules may state whether the court has adopted a particular guideline, or the adoption of a guideline may be by custom. California Alimony Calculator is designed for the calculation of guideline for
child support. The California Alimony Calculator also calculates additional support when a payer has fluctuating income and support is set on a base income the payer reliably earns each month.
Local California Alimony Calculator guidelines calculates temporary spousal support on the assumption that the recipient pays taxes on that support. That has been revised when the alimony deduction and income inclusion was eliminated as of January 1, 2019. IRC §§71 and 215, eliminating the tax deduction for the spousal support payor.
The repeal of IRC §71 reduces the amount of money available to pay support when the parties are in different tax brackets. When the payor of support is in a much higher tax bracket than the party receiving support, the payor gets more dollars for the tax deduction for the payment of alimony compared to the taxes the recipient has to pay on the alimony. This “free money” allowed parties more flexibility in making support arrangements. The repeal of IRC §71 takes that benefit away by
treating support agreements or orders made after December 31, 2018 as nontaxable and nondeductible.
The revised tax treatment applies to any divorce or separation instrument executed after December 31, 2018. Spousal support orders and agreements executed prior to that date are not affected by this change.
The temporary California Alimony Calculator guidelines were modified so support is calculated on after-tax income, or the percentage of gross income will have to be lowered due to the loss of the alimony deduction.
Time passage as a change of circumstances
Generally, the passage of time is not a change in circumstances however, there are some situations when the time passage constitutes change of circumstances. For example, under Fam C 4320, the courts may terminate
support when a party fails to make efforts to become self-supporting within a “reasonable period of time.”
The California Alimony Calculator below is a simplified version of Dissomaster Guideline for spousal support. It does not include number of dependents, , Tax filing Status.