Focusing On Family Law – And You
Long-term spousal support is a monthly payment one spouse makes to the other following a divorce, often lasting many years. When we think of spousal support, this is what many people initially picture. You may be surprised to hear that there is no guarantee that long-term spousal support will be awarded in your divorce.
Long-term spousal support
While judges have discretion in awarding long-term spousal support, such an award is more common if the marriage lasted a long time or if one spouse makes significantly more money than the other spouse.
How long will spousal support last?
The length of time spousal support payments will be made is based on the reasonable amount of time the receiving spouse needs to be able to support themselves independently. Generally, if your marriage lasted less than 10 years, a spousal support award will last for half the amount of time you were married. If your marriage lasted 10 years or more, it is up to the judge to determine what is reasonable.
Spousal support generally does not last indefinitely. It can end upon a written agreement by you and your ex-spouse, through a court order, if the receiving spouse remarries or if either spouse passes away.
Ultimately, the length and amount of support paid will be determined based on a variety of factors, such as each spouse’s age and health, each spouse’s earning capabilities and the standard of living the spouses enjoyed while married. While there is no guarantee that spousal support will be awarded, you will want to educate yourself about California spousal support laws so you know what to expect.