FAMILY CODE SECTION 4320-4326
4320. In ordering spousal support under this part, the court shall
consider all of the following circumstances:
(a) The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is
sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the
marriage, taking into account all of the following:
(1) The marketable skills of the supported party; the job market
for those skills; the time and expenses required for the supported
party to acquire the appropriate education or training to develop
those skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to
acquire other, more marketable skills or employment.
(2) The extent to which the supported party’s present or future
earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were
incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote
time to domestic duties.
(b) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the
attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license
by the supporting party.
(c) The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support,
taking into account the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned
and unearned income, assets, and standard of living.
(d) The needs of each party based on the standard of living
established during the marriage.
(e) The obligations and assets, including the separate property,
of each party.
(f) The duration of the marriage.
(g) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful
employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent
children in the custody of the party.
(h) The age and health of the parties.
(i) Documented evidence, including a plea of nolo contendere, of
any history of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, between
the parties or perpetrated by either party against either party’s
child, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional
distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the
supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any
history of violence against the supporting party by the supported
(j) The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party.
(k) The balance of the hardships to each party.
(l) The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting
within a reasonable period of time. Except in the case of a marriage
of long duration as described in Section 4336, a “reasonable period
of time” for purposes of this section generally shall be one-half the
length of the marriage. However, nothing in this section is intended
to limit the court’s discretion to order support for a greater or
lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors listed in
this section, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the parties.
(m) The criminal conviction of an abusive spouse shall be
considered in making a reduction or elimination of a spousal support
award in accordance with Section 4324.5 or 4325.
(n) Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.
4321. In a judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation
of the parties, the court may deny support to a party out of the
separate property of the other party in any of the following
(a) The party has separate property, or is earning the party’s own
livelihood, or there is community property or quasi-community
property sufficient to give the party proper support.
(b) The custody of the children has been awarded to the other
party, who is supporting them.
4322. In an original or modification proceeding, where there are no
children, and a party has or acquires a separate estate, including
income from employment, sufficient for the party’s proper support, no
support shall be ordered or continued against the other party.
4323. (a) (1) Except as otherwise agreed to by the parties in
writing, there is a rebuttable presumption, affecting the burden of
proof, of decreased need for spousal support if the supported party
is cohabiting with a nonmarital partner. Upon a determination that
circumstances have changed, the court may modify or terminate the
spousal support as provided for in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section
3650) of Part 1.
(2) Holding oneself out to be the spouse of the person with whom
one is cohabiting is not necessary to constitute cohabitation as the
term is used in this subdivision.
(b) The income of a supporting spouse’s subsequent spouse or
nonmarital partner shall not be considered when determining or
modifying spousal support.
(c) Nothing in this section precludes later modification or
termination of spousal support on proof of change of circumstances.
4324. In addition to any other remedy authorized by law, when a
spouse is convicted of attempting to murder the other spouse, as
punishable pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 664 of the Penal
Code, or of soliciting the murder of the other spouse, as punishable
pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 653f of the Penal Code, the
injured spouse shall be entitled to a prohibition of any temporary or
permanent award for spousal support or medical, life, or other
insurance benefits or payments from the injured spouse to the other
As used in this section, “injured spouse” means the spouse who has
been the subject of the attempted murder or the solicitation of
murder for which the other spouse was convicted, whether or not
actual physical injury occurred.
4324.5. (a) In any proceeding for dissolution of marriage where
there is a criminal conviction for a violent sexual felony
perpetrated by one spouse against the other spouse and the petition
for dissolution is filed before five years following the conviction
and any time served in custody, on probation, or on parole, the
following shall apply:
(1) An award of spousal support to the convicted spouse from the
injured spouse is prohibited.
(2) Where economic circumstances warrant, the court shall order
the attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the parties to be paid from
the community assets. The injured spouse shall not be required to
pay any attorney’s fees of the convicted spouse out of the injured
spouse’s separate property.
(3) At the request of the injured spouse, the date of legal
separation shall be the date of the incident giving rise to the
conviction, or earlier, if the court finds circumstances that justify
an earlier date.
(4) The injured spouse shall be entitled to 100 percent of the
community property interest in the retirement and pension benefits of
the injured spouse.
(b) As used in this section, “violent sexual felony” means those
offenses described in paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (11), and (18) of
subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.
(c) As used in this section, “injured spouse” means the spouse who
has been the subject of the violent sexual felony for which the
other spouse was convicted.
4325. (a) In any proceeding for dissolution of marriage where there
is a criminal conviction for an act of domestic violence perpetrated
by one spouse against the other spouse entered by the court within
five years prior to the filing of the dissolution proceeding, or at
any time thereafter, there shall be a rebuttable presumption
affecting the burden of proof that any award of temporary or
permanent spousal support to the abusive spouse otherwise awardable
pursuant to the standards of this part should not be made.
(b) The court may consider documented evidence of a convicted
spouse’s history as a victim of domestic violence, as defined in
Section 6211, perpetrated by the other spouse, or any other factors
the court deems just and equitable, as conditions for rebutting this
(c) The rebuttable presumption created in this section may be
rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.
4326. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (d), in a proceeding in
which a spousal support order exists or in which the court has
retained jurisdiction over a spousal support order, if a companion
child support order is in effect, the termination of child support
pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 3901 constitutes a change of
circumstances that may be the basis for a request by either party for
modification of spousal support.
(b) A motion to modify spousal support based on the change of
circumstances described in subdivision (a) shall be filed by either
party no later than six months from the date the child support order
(c) If a motion to modify a spousal support order pursuant to
subdivision (a) is filed, either party may request the appointment of
a vocational training counselor pursuant to Section 4331.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), termination of the child
support order does not constitute a change of circumstances under
subdivision (a) in any of the following circumstances:
(1) The child and spousal support orders are the result of a
marital settlement agreement or judgment and the marital settlement
agreement or judgment contains a provision regarding what is to occur
when the child support order terminates.
(2) The child and spousal support orders are the result of a
marital settlement agreement or judgment, which provides that the
spousal support order is nonmodifiable or that spousal support is
waived and the court’s jurisdiction over spousal support has been
(3) The court’s jurisdiction over spousal support was previously
(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a party whose six-month
deadline to file expired between January 1, 2014, and September 30,
2014, may file a motion pursuant to this section until December 31,