Determining the Duration of Spousal Support for California Divorces

spousal-supportWhen a marriage ends, it is vital that you have the ability to hold on to the things that are the most important to you. If you have children you are going to want to ensure that matters dealing with child support are properly taken care of first. You will then want to guarantee that you will be able to maintain the lifestyle that you have achieved or grown accustomed to throughout your marriage.

One of the most common questions pertaining to divorce in California is how long you will be responsible for providing or receiving support. Again, a proper California divorce attorney is necessary in getting optimum results with these matters, but here is some basic information regarding the duration of spousal support that you should know.

Marriages Lasting Less than 10 Years

Many factors affect the amount of spousal support, but the length of your marriage is the greatest factor in determining the length of support that you will either provide or receive. The general consensus is that in marriages lasting less than 10 years (beginning the date of marriage through the date of separation) the ‘supporting’ party is responsible for providing alimony to the ‘supported’ for one half of the term of marriage.

For example, if your marriage lasted 8 years, it is presumed that you will not provide or receive alimony longer than 4 years after the date of separation.

Long Term Marriages: More than 10 Years

For marriages lasting more than ten years, the process is a bit more involved. While it may be presumed that permanent spousal support will be provided, in recent years many appellate courts have decided that alimony is supposed to be temporary. Due to this, the court will not set an exact duration for alimony. The burden will be left to the person providing the support to provide evidence that the support should be reduced or terminated.

While there may be some contestable issues regarding spousal support, it is important to remember that there are guidelines in place to ensure that each party is able to sustain his or her basic needs after a divorce. But that doesn’t mean that alimony will be provided forever. If you feel that a reasonable amount of time has lapsed and you would like to terminate or reduce support, an experienced California divorce attorney will create a strategy based on case histories and other information to determine that the ‘supported’ spouse is becoming or has become self sufficient since the divorce.

If you have questions regarding any of these aspects or others regarding spousal support, contact us for a consultation.