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San Jose Divorce Attorney Discusses – Countess Seeks over $100K Monthly Spousal Support!

San Jose Divorce Attorney Discusses – Countess Seeks over $100K Monthly Spousal Support!

The web is abuzz with the story of the Swedish countess who was married to an American investment banker and is now seeking to set aside their post-nuptial agreement that would have awarded her $43 million as a settlement following their brief marriage from 2002-2005.

The case of the Swedish countess brings up interesting questions about spousal support for family law attorneys, judges and litigants. After all, who really needs over $100,000 a month in spousal support? The lovely countess and her soon to be ex husband are litigating in Connecticut, but were they in California, the rules would as follows.

Temporary spousal support is set based on the needs of the parties and the ability to pay. It is usually a result of a computer based formula calculation, although judges have discretion to deviate from the formula amount as needed. This amount is subject to modification if one party loses or gains a job, or income source, or if their needs change dramatically.

Permanent spousal support, on the other hand, is actually driven by the Family Code and requires consideration of multiple factors. California Family Code ยง 4320 factors include: the earning capacity of the parties and the marital standard of living, the relative employability of each party; domestic violence, assets and obligations of the parties, age and health of the parties, tax consequences, and the duration of marriage. Other factors are also considered.

So while the countess’s request for $130,000 a month in spousal support may seem extreme to some readers, what if she and her husband routinely spent $250,000 or $300,000 a month on their basic living expenses: housing, food, etc. While not a typical marital standard of living, that would, in fact, be the standard these parties were accustomed to during marriage, and would make her request seem somewhat more reasonable.

Here at Sagaria Law, we offer a full range of family law and legal services including divorce, paternity, adoption, child custody and visitation matters, child support, spousal support, alimony, juvenile dependency, domestic violence, division of property, grandparent visitation and custody, etc. We have seven Northern California locations including San Jose, San Francisco, Redwood City, Fremont, Salinas, Roseville and Sacramento. We offer a free thirty minute consultation, either in person at any of our offices, or over the phone. Call our offices today and we can connect you with an attorney immediately or we can schedule your free consultation with one of our family law attorneys: (408) 279-2288 or (800) 941-6730 or visit