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Securing spousal support after a divorce can be significant for financially disadvantaged spouses across California. This money should help spouses rebuild their lives, transition out of marriage and help to maintain the lifestyle they enjoyed while married, all of which can be crucial for certain spouses after divorce.

However, spousal support generally won’t last forever. There are specific deadlines and events that will trigger an end to spousal support. Knowing what these are and anticipating them can help you plan ahead. It is imperative to spot any potential issues that end spousal support prematurely.

Generally speaking, there are five things that will trigger the end of alimony payments in California.

  1. The death of either the payer or the recipient of support.
  2. Fulfillment of certain conditions by recipient, like becoming self-sufficient or getting a job that changes the economic relationship.
  3. A deadline set by the courts or the parties in the original order for support. This is often seen in marriages lasting less than ten years.
  4. The recipient gets remarried or enters into a domestic partnership
  5. A modification or termination is requested by either party and the court retains authority to review any future change of circumstances.

If any of these events transpire spousal support payments can and will be terminated. In most cases, they can be anticipated and people can typically plan accordingly. However, some situations arise unexpectedly, like a death or a surprise job offer. In these cases, an abrupt end to support can be enormously jarring, especially for the recipient.

Whether it is expected or not, oftentimes there is no reason to legitimately challenge the termination of spousal support. The conditions and terms for termination should be established clearly in the order for spousal support. However, there are times when questions do arise. If you have concerns about termination or modification of spousal support, it is important that you discuss them with your attorney