Divorce often results in a variety of financial challenges, some of which can persist for years. Filing for divorce costs money, and the property division process necessarily splits assets between the former members of a couple. Additionally, the courts can sometimes order financial support, including spousal support. Some other states call spousal support alimony or spousal maintenance.
An order of spousal support requires that one spouse make regular payments to the other. There is short-term spousal support available in an assortment of scenarios, as well as long-term spousal support available in others. If one spouse applies for long-term spousal support, both the person seeking financial support and the spouse likely paying for support will want to know how long those support obligations will last. Specific rules regarding this matter apply in California.
Support duration depends on marriage length
Exactly how long someone will have to continue paying long-term spousal support will depend on how long they remained married. Shorter marriages that lasted less than 10 years have a special rule that applies. At most, a judge can order support that lasts for half of the length of the marriage.
However, once people have remained married for a decade or longer, there is no set rule for determining the duration of support. The economic circumstances of each spouse, the health of each spouse and even the standard of living during the marriage can play a role in a judge’s final determination regarding the duration of spousal support.
For those facing a divorce after a long-term marriage and anxious about the unpredictable nature of litigation, negotiating a settlement with their spouse might be the best solution possible. They can reach an agreement that they both believe is fair and appropriate based on the circumstances surrounding the marriage and the divorce.
Barring an agreement between spouses, people generally rely on a judge’s understanding of the situation and the choices they make about applying California state law to a family’s circumstances. Ultimately, seeking legal guidance and learning more about how the courts handle major financial issues during California divorce proceedings may help people feel more confident as they prepare for upcoming negotiations.