1) I would like my wife to pay spousal support (she makes approximately $4200 per month and I make $ 2000). Based on my investigation, it looks like a general starting point is: take 40% of your wife's net monthly income, subtract 50% of your monthly income, and this will give you an approximate amount of potential spousal support. It looks like I will only get $300. I am having trouble with such a small amount?
2) Approximately, $15,000 has been spent on home improvements during our 7 1/2 year marriage. I am thinking that I can get half of this, although, my wife says that most of this was maintenance? 3) She has approximately $15,000 in her checking account that she told me came from an account that she had before we got married? Do I get ½ of this? Is jewelry always a gift?
Yes hire an attorney! You may want to look at a collaborative divorce attorney. Why? Because it can keep down the costs -- including the time and energy. Divorce is hard.
Get all of you documents together as soon as possible. Your attorney will need them.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Support-need more info to run computer estimate and determine if it is worthwhile to pursue.
Home-improvements versus maintenance depends on what it was spent on - routine yard work versus extensive landscaping for example.
Account - depends on what funds were put into the account during marriage and where such funds came from.
Jewelry usually a gift.
Call a divorce attorney like myself to. get a detailed free consultation
First, getting an attorney will really depend on how much dispute there is. I'd at least see one and have them explain specifically how the assets and debts should be divided under California law.
Second, don't get too excited about the spousal support - it probably isn't going to be permanent.
There are too little facts to go into the details re: the checking account, the improvements and the spousal support. If the money can be traced to a source before marriage, then it is probably separate property.
Good luck with the situation.