Unlike child support, there is no guideline for spousal support. Courts may refer to a guideline for spousal support when setting temporary support orders. However, permanent support orders are not subject to the guideline. It is a completely discretionary call in most cases by a family law judge.
There is a checklist consisting of fourteen factors that the court is required to consider in determining the amount of spousal support. The key factors are:
- The income and earning capacity of each party;
- What was the typical marital standard of living of the parties during the latter years of the marriage;
- The length of the marriage.
There are approximately eleven other factors, however these are the three main factors that most courts consider.