Like all states, California has its own laws for determining spousal support. Individual courts may take a variety of factors into account. These include the needs of the spouse receiving support, the other spouse's ability to pay, how long the marriage has lasted, and the couple's lifestyle, age and health. The court may also consider any non-marital assets and whether the couple has children under 18.
Starting in 2019, the federal tax code could change the way California divorces are handled. For the past 75 years, alimony has been tax deductible for the payer while the payees were required to pay income taxes on any alimony received. After December 31, 2018, alimony will no longer be tax deductible for the payer.