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How Long Should Alimony Be Paid In California?

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

A Guide On California Spousal Support In 2022

When a couple has been married for more than ten years and is divorced, there is a prevalent assumption that alimony would be required to be paid perpetually. That isn't always the case, though. So let's discuss alimony, as our prescreened California Family Law Attorneys often encounter.



How Long Should Alimony Be Paid In California?

Spousal support is meant to help spouse get the money they need to take care of themselves in a reasonable amount of time.


The court has the authority to determine the length of spousal support. The length of the marriage often determines the length of a permanent or long-term spousal support order.


That being said, it is vital that you work alongside your California Divorce Lawyer. An attorney will know their way around family law and all the requirements and paperwork that comes with it.


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How Is Alimony Decided For Marriages Over 10 Years?


Any marriage that lasts more than ten years is automatically deemed "long-term" in California.


For "long-term" marriages, the court has indefinite jurisdiction once the divorce is finalized, according to California law. This means the court can continue to make decisions about alimony between the spouses and evaluate and modify its original rulings as needed.


If one spouse believes alimony is no longer necessary, they must prove that such conditions exist that warrant the support order to be altered or reevaluated. You will most likely need the help of a California Family Law Attorney for this.


That said, spousal support can be terminated in many ways under California law:

  1. If a payor or recipient dies, spousal support will stop.

  2. Spousal support will end on a date set by the exes or by court order.

  3. Spousal support will no longer be payable unless the parties expressly agree in their divorce Marital Settlement Agreement to continue to be paid even if the recipient remarries.

It's critical to speak with a prescreened California Divorce Lawyer if you want to change a permanent alimony order.


california spousal support attorney

How Is Alimony Paid In Marriages Less Than 10 Years?


Spousal support in marriages that lasted fewer than ten years will usually have a different time restriction.

However, the basic rule is that alimony will last for half the length of the marriage in most circumstances.

This signifies that spousal support will stop on a specific date. Spousal support, for example, will likely terminate after four years if a couple has been married for eight years.


Half the length of the marriage is considered a "reasonable period of time" to assist the alimony-receiving spouse in becoming self-sufficient. On the other hand, judges have the authority to make a different judgment based on the facts of the case.


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