Alimony is also referred to as "spousal support" in California. These payments are intended to keep one spouse from suffering a steep drop in their standard of living after divorce. Spousal support can help a spouse who has been out of the workforce, such as a stay-at-home parent, get back on his or her feet until it is possible to be self-supporting. It is not awarded in every divorce, or even in most divorces, however. If you think you might need spousal support, speak to an attorney experienced in California family law matters.