How Long Does Alimony Last In California?

Determining How Long You'll Pay Or Receive Spousal Support In California

Like most judgments under CA divorce laws, alimony is determined based on several factors related to the marriage (and its end). So, how do California alimony laws apply to different divorces? Is there a California alimony calculator to help you predict how much and how long alimony will last?

Let's look at what our experienced prescreened Family Law Attorneys in Los Angeles have to say about it:

california alimony laws

How Is The Duration Of Spousal Support Determined In California?

Spousal support orders in California aim to give the recipient enough time to find enough money to take care of themselves. The length of spousal support is a matter of the court's discretion. However, the length of the marriage is typically the most significant determinant of how long a permanent or long-term spousal support order will last.

Let's look at how that varies depending on how long you've been married:

Condition #1: Your Marriage Lasted For Less Than 10 Years

In California, the court will typically decide that you are entitled to alimony for roughly half the duration of your marriage. So, for instance, you can anticipate getting support from your ex-spouse for about three years if you were married for six years.

However, this is not always the case. The court can decide that your eligibility only lasts for a limited time. In certain situations, you can be qualified for longer-term spousal assistance.

If you have any trouble determining possible factors that will affect your alimony payment or receipt, consult with a Family Law attorney in Los Angeles. A prescreened lawyer knows their way around California divorce laws and can help alswer your questions, manage documents and requirements, and represent you in court.

best family law attorney los angeles

Condition #2: Your Marriage Lasted For 10 Years Or More

The court maintains indefinite judgment of how long that spousal support will be provided. This means they can extend or stop the mandate even after the divorce proceedings is over.

However, the onus of demonstrating that alimony is no longer required falls on the party providing it. Therefore, the court will stop sending you a monthly check if he can convince the judge that you no longer need support.

When Can Spousal Support End In California?

A California Family Court Judge may decide on the amount and duration of alimony if the couple cannot reach a private agreement. Alimony is frequently discontinued due to the following reasons:

  • The passing of either partner.

  • Remarrying occurs for the spouse who receives alimony payments.

  • The end date of the spousal support payments is specified in a court judgment.

Since the specifics of every divorce are unique, it's crucial to work with a knowledgeable Los Angeles family lawyer who will prioritize your best financial interests.

Can California Spousal Support Judgements Be Altered, Changed, Or Updated?

The needs of the receiving spouse or the earning capacity of the paying spouse may affect the contractual conditions of a spousal support agreement.

One spouse might ask for a modification hearing for various reasons, including the recipient's qualifying needs, a change in income brought on by unemployment, an injury, or retirement.

family law attorney in los angeles

Find The Best Family Law Attorney In Los Angeles

Need a Los Angeles Family Lawyer? Get a referral to an experienced legal counsel in minutes! is a California Bar Association Certified Lawyer Referral Service that refers you to a fitting Lawyer best suited to handle your case. You may contact us through our 24/7 live chat (or complete our case details submission form) for a free initial consultation.

los angeles attorney referral service

California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral And Information Service is a California State Bar Certified and approved Lawyer Referral and Information Service.

We provide unbiased and impartial lawyer referrals. This service isn't owned nor operated by lawyers receiving. referrals.


Our objective is that you receive the best comprehensive, high-quality legal representation while holding California attorneys to the highest standards of professional conduct.

Why Lawyer Referrals Matter


The California State Bar investigates on average 16,000 complaints of professional misconduct by attorneys annually.

We offer unbiased California attorney referrals and conduct due diligence by researching and recommending the best local attorney for your case. 


We verify attorneys are in good standing and have the required experience in the type of law related to your legal issue. 

Learn more about attorney discipline here:


Our History 


Since 2005, we have assisted people who need legal representation but whose ability to locate reputable California Lawyers is frustrated by unreliable law firm marketing of self-promoting lawyers and biased legal advertising.

How the LRS Works 

Anyone seeking competent and honest legal representation in California, can request a FREE lawyer referral. 

Once you submit your case details online, our legal 24-hour legal department will review your claim and reply via email. Most cases are reviewed and answered within 15 minutes. 


A free 30 minute consultation with the attorney will be offered to each referred client. 

A representative will follow up a few days later via email with the client after receiving a referral for quality management purposes, or to obtain the status of the case. 

About lawyers from our network

California lawyers in our network are insured, in good standing with the California State Bar, and have substantial experience in their practice area.


Attorneys are available in most areas of law throughout Southern California. Every lawyer in or network has been vetted for:

  • Credentials

  • Education

  • Communication skills

  • Performance

  • Client reviews

  • Fair legal fees

  • Continuing education

  • Professional affiliations

Additionally, we conduct criminal  background checks and attorneys are always monitored by our service.  

How to find the best lawyer for your legal case: