Spousal support can be “temporary” or “permanent.” Temporary spousal support, or “alimony pendente lite,” can be ordered by the judge after a couple has separated but the divorce has not yet been finalized within the judicial system. Since divorce proceedings can take years to complete, temporary spousal support may be deemed needed so as to allow the payee spouse to keep her or his standard of living until “permanent” alimony can be awarded by the court.

Once a divorce or a legal separation proceeding is finalized, the judge may order “permanent” spousal support as part of the court judgment or decision. For a marriage less than 10 years, the courts will award support usually lasting no more than half of the length of time that the marriage endured, and order the spouse to search for gainful employment. For a marriage over 10 years, support is generally payable until death of either party, remarriage/cohabitation of the supported spouse or further order of the Court.

Section 4320 of the California Family Code specifies certain circumstances that a Court shall consider when determining the amounts and duration of the permanent spousal support to be awarded. These circumstances include the following: the marketable skills of the spouse to be supported and the job market for those skills; the amount of time and money that would be needed for the education or training of the spouse to be supported to acquire more marketable skills and get a job; the extent by which the earning capacity of the spouse to be supported was impaired because of domestic obligations; the earning capacity and other measures of ability to pay of the spouse to be ordered to provide alimony; the duration of the marriage; the marital standard of living of the divorcing or separating spouses; the assets and liabilities, as well as separate properties, of the spouses; their age and health condition; whether there was documented evidence of any history of domestic violence between them; whether there was criminal conviction of an abusive spouse; and the immediate and specific tax implications of the spousal support on both parties.

Amicably divorcing or legally separating spouses can on their own initiative write their own spousal support settlement agreement, specifying duration, amounts and other terms and conditions of their own choosing, which they can submit to a judge for approval.




  • Dear Emily Robinson, Thank you for your services and helping reach a settlement.  I would definitely recommend you to anybody who needs a good attorney to handle a divorce case.
    Regards, GD
  • Dear Emily Robinson, I greatly appreciate your tireless effort in fixing this difficult situation. Thank you so much and God bless you!
    Regards, E
  • Emily Robinson,
    Thank you so much for all your support and help!  You can't imagine how glad and calm you make me feel ...
    Thank you for being our angel!
    Regards, G
  • Emily Robinson, I know I have said it in some form or another before, but THANK YOU for all that you have done to get me to this point. It sure took a village. You were the calm in the storm and always knew the way to get us thru the barrage of BS... I would not have wanted anyone else by my side throughout this. YOU are the one that made me feel I was not crazy at times. You are so sweet, supportive, realistic, clever, creative, wise, with amazing resilience, tenacity, and patience. Thank you for having my back always.
    Regards, BT

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Emily Robinson

(818) 998-5555 | (805) 497-7474


10, Firs Avenue, Muswell Hill, Westlake Village, Los Angeles, CA.

660 Hampshire Road, Suite 216, Westlake Village, CA 91361


Family Law

This area of law focuses on the relationships between parents, children, siblings, spouses and domestic partners.


Mediation is a non-adversarial tool for resolving issues in a divorce case. It involves using a neutral third party, the mediator, who will facilitate communication between the divorcing spouses.


Find out about the step-by-step guide in doing divorce. Read the Divorce Overview.


Understand Paternity issues when dealing with child custody. Read our FAQ.

Child Custody

Family lawyers, therapists and mediators can help parents in this difficult situation – making sure that the plan is child centered so that children’s interests are taken care of.

Child Support

Child support or maintenance is a court-ordered monthly payment that must be made by either or both parents to cover their child’s basic living expenses during a divorce, custody proceeding, legal separation or annulment.

Spousal Support

Spousal support can be “temporary” or “permanent.” Temporary spousal support, or “alimony pendente lite,” can be ordered by the judge after a couple has separated even if divorce is not yet finalized.

Division of Assets and Debts

Read our guidelines in division of properties and debts between divorcing couples.

What makes me qualified?

Emily graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law and is a certified mediator. Prior to that, Emily attended UC Santa Barbara where she graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Communication.

  • How we can help you?

    Mediation is a process wherein the parties meet with a neutral facilitator to help them resolve their differences. The facilitator is not a judge and cannot issue a binding decision. Instead, s/he attempts to save the parties time and money by providing a non-litigious atmosphere where the parties can work together. Everything said in mediation is confidential and therefore the parties can feel safe in sharing their true interests and concerns.

    We can start out with an initial consultation as you bring any relevant documents (financial, etc) you have in order for us to proceed with your objectives.

    Contact us today.

– How Initial Divorce Consultation Works

The attorney is going to want to know the facts of your situation. What’s been going on in your life that’s led to the divorce. What kind of property do you have? What your finances are like? And what kind of custody of schedules you like to see for the children. And to just kind of feel out how you have been planning. What you’ve been thinking in terms of the divorce.

Now if you have no plan and you haven’t been thinking of anything yet and you’re just sort of in a daze trying to figure out what to do which is the case for a lot of people. That’s absolutely fine. Just let the attorney know that and they can ask you the right questions to elicit the necessary information.

Speak with me today to start your consultation.

– An Overview of the Divorce Process

The basic process is one party will file for divorce. They will get a case number and get the documents back from the court. And, they will have those documents served to the other party. The other party has 30 days to respond to the divorce documents. Once that party responded, then the parties will exchange financial, income, and asset information and try work out a settlement. If you were unable to decide a settlement then we will set a trial date. The court will decide how to divide your property, your custody issues, and your support issues.

Contact us today to find out more.

“Mediation is meant to be a voluntary, non-adversarial process by which both spouses willingly cooperate to end their marriage amicably.”

Looking for a Westlake Divorce Attorney can be easy. But how can you be sure that you have found the best? Your divorce attorney should give you different options on how to go through your case. Options that will fit your needs and resources.

Emily Robinson Divorce Attorney Westlake Village, LA, California