Earning Capacity of the Supported Spouse


Erika Oliver


Faculty editor:
Publication: Contemporary Legal Issues
Volume: 22
Start Page: 179
Month: December
Year: 2015
Type: Faculty Essay


For two decades before the creation of its Family Code, the California Legislature attempted to provide guidance to the state’s courts on the treatment of the supported spouse’s earning capacity in the determination of alimony awards. The result was a hodgepodge of factors and sub-factors, only some of which were relevant to the topic at hand. The hodgepodge remains today, and suggests the Legislature is confused about the role the supported spouse’s earning capacity is supposed to play in the setting and modification of the alimony award. I propose a reorganization of the factors the courts should consult in analyzing this important factor.