Spousal support formerly known as alimony is based upon the marital standard of living. 
The court analyzes several factors in determining the amount of permanent spousal support. 
California Family Code Section  4320
Spousal Support Factors
California Family Code Section 4320 identifes the factors that the court reviews in order to determine whether to award alimony and the amount of alimony. In California, alimony is referred to as spousal support.
One factor the court considers when spousal support is at issue in Orange County is the amount of time that the person receiving  support stayed at home to raise the kids while the other spouse worked, depriving the stay at home person of an opportunity to advance a career.   
In Orange County Spousal support has tax implications to it. The person who receives spousal support will pay income taxes on the support. The person who pays the support will receive a reduction of his or her in income commensurate with spousal support. 
California Family Code Section 4320
A family law court will also address the needs of each party based upon the parties' standard of living during the marriage. 
The California Superior Court will review whether the person receiving support helped the other parent obtain an education, participate in training, or advance a career.
The obligations and assets of the parties including their separate assets is relevant for spousal support purposes in a divorce in California. 
If one party is not working, the court can consider what the person is capable of earning and make an order as if that party was earning that amount.
If the person receiving support needs more time to develop his or her skills, the court will consider how much time and what expenses that person needs to make his or her skills more marketable.  
The court will ask whether the person paying spousal support has the ability to pay spousal support. If he or she does not have the ability to pay spousal support, the family court is less likely to order spousal support.
If there is evidence of domestic violence between the parties, then the perpetrator may be precluded from the receipt of spousal support in the State of California.
If the party receiving support can obtain a job without interfering with the interests of the children, then the court will be more likely to assume that the party is capable of earning a living.

The payee of spousal support may need training or education to obtain marketable skills. The court will consider that in an order for  spousal support in Orange County.
If the person paying spousal support does not earn enough money to pay spousal support, the court can consider the paying party's separate property assets.
The Orange County Superior Court will also examine the skills of the person receiving spousal support.  If the person has marketable skills, the court is less likely to order spousal support.
The goal of spousal support is to help the supported spouse  become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time which is usually half of the length of the marriage.
In California, the court will review the ability of each party to earn a living. 
Another factor the court considers in determining spousal support  is the length of the parties' marriage. 
In California another factor the court considers is the age and health of the parties. 
The court may also consider hardships to each party for the support they pay.

How long does spousal support last?

Most parties in a divorce action want to know how long spousal support will last in California. By default, spousal support usually ends after the remarriage of the supported spouse, the death of the supported spouse, or the death of the payor spouse. The parties can alter these terms through a family law attorney with a clear, written agreement.

When awarding a spousal support order, the judge will usually issue what is called a Gavron order which requires both parties to become self-supporting in a reasonable amount of time. If the court finds that the supported spouse has had the opportunity to become self-sufficient and has not done so, the court can terminate or reduce spousal support. 

In many cases, the court finds that a spouse can become self-sufficient in about half the length of the marriage.  Although in  a long term marriage spousal support is indefinite, it may only last for half of the marriage depending on the circumstances.