When couples divorce in California, one may be ordered to pay spousal support payments to the other, based on several predetermined circumstances.
At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles spousal support lawyer understand that there may be some confusion regarding how long those payments last and is answering some of the most frequently asked questions we receive on the subject.
Who Pays Spousal Support in California?
Spousal support is unique to each marriage and will be assigned to one spouse based on many factors, which can include their financial make-up, including current incomes, assets, debts, and each spouse’s education level, and current and future earning capacity.
How Long Am I Expected to Pay Spousal Support in California?
The California Courts will determine how long a spouse is expected to pay spousal support by following certain principles and guidelines that create an equitable financial solution.
Generally, spousal support is awarded based on the length of the marriage.
The general rule is that spousal support will last for half the length of a marriage that was legally valid for ten years or less.
Spousal support durations for long term marriages, which are those lasting more than ten years, differ and may be assigned for an indefinite term.
When Is Spousal Support Terminated in California?
California spousal support payments can end using factors outside of the length of the marriage.
Those factors can include:
- A court order or judgment sets a specific date for the support to end
- When the recipient spouse gets remarried
- The death of either spouse
Can I Change the Terms of My California Spousal Support Agreement?
California Courts outline factors regarding when paying spouses can modify alimony agreements.
These legally binding agreements may be adjusted to increase or decrease based on the earning ability of the paying spouse or the needs of the receiving spouse.
These circumstances may include the payer’s change in income due to injury, unemployment, or retirement, or the recipient’s qualifying needs.
What Are The Different Types of Spousal Support In California?
In California, there are several types of spousal support awards that fall outside of permanent payments.
Spousal support can be ordered during the divorce proceedings and can be paid temporarily or during a rehabilitative timeline while the recipient takes steps to establish their financial footing after the divorce.
Reimbursement alimony is awarded when one spouse supported the other through college or a work-related program, which resulted in the spouse earning more money.
There is also the possibility of the courts ordering a lump-sum payment that fulfills the spousal support obligation. This limits the obligation to the time it takes to make this one-time payment.
Frequently Asked Questions about How Long Do Alimony Payments Last in California
How Long is Alimony Paid In California?
Each California marriage is unique and so is the potential duration of spousal support. Although there is no specific rule, for marriages of fewer than ten years, spousal support may be paid for up to half the length of a marriage. Longer marriages will be evaluated based on the receiving spouse’s role in the marriage, and if he or she has spent their marriage away from work, caring for the home and children. Talking with a skilled Los Angeles divorce lawyer will help you understand your eligibility for spousal support, and how long you may receive it.
Is Everyone Entitled to Alimony in California?
While California is a spousal support state, not everyone is entitled to receive alimony as a condition of their divorce. There are dozens of factors that will determine who is entitled to alimony in California — why and how long — and our skilled Los Angeles spousal support attorney can help you determine your eligibility without delay.
Are There Specific California Alimony Laws That Must be Followed by the Family Courts?
Multiple California alimony laws allow a judge to interpret whether one spouse should receive spousal support, in what amount, and for how long. A judge can make a spousal support order in a divorce, legal separation, or domestic violence restraining order case. Many California counties use a formula as a guideline for calculating the amount of temporary spousal support. These guidelines vary, but one common formula for the monthly amount of support is 40% of the high earner’s net monthly income minus 50% of the low earner’s net monthly income. If spousal support is long-term, a different set of calculations may apply, depending on the California county you are divorced in.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for California Divorce Alimony?
To qualify for alimony in California, the family court judge will review the length of your marriage, marital standard of living, the couple’s shared debts and assets, and the ability to become employed. Depending on your skills, education, and the time you have been out of work, you may be eligible to pursue alimony, but you must speak with an experienced Los Angeles spousal support attorney to understand your legal rights and options to seek the best outcome.
How Can I Find an Experienced California Spousal Support Lawyer Near Me?
When searching for an alimony attorney in California, it is as simple as typing in “California spousal support attorney new me” into a search engine. Keep in mind, you are going to get thousands of results. Once you do, look into the divorce and spousal support attorney’s experience, reviews, and positive results in other cases that may be similar to yours. Then, contact the Los Angeles spousal support lawyer to determine if he or she is a right fit for your personality, and your overall family law goals.