How Long Do I Have To Pay Spousal Support?

Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging times in someone’s life. Not only is this going to mark the end of a meaningful relationship and add a lot of stress to your personal life and emotional health, it can also be quite costly. One expense that occurs by one party in a divorce is the required payment of spousal support, which is commonly referred to as alimony. These obligations tend to vary by the state and in the state of California, it can depend on various factors.

Duration of Marriage

One of the most significant factors that will influence how long spousal support is required to be paid in California is the length of the marriage. Generally, the state will characterize marriage duration as either more or less than ten years. In most cases, if you have been married for less than ten years, spousal support will be required for a period equal to half of the length of the marriage. If the marriage lasts for more than ten years, there is not a specific amount of time that it will need to be paid and it will be up to the court’s discretion. Any periods of separation will also be taken into consideration.

Ability to Work and Pay for Each Party

Another important factor that will be used to factor spousal support during a divorce process is the ability for each party to work and pay for support. The court will review the current income of each party as well as each party’s ability to obtain a job if they are not already working. If it is determined that the recipient is unable to work, it could extend the amount of time that a spouse will need to continue to provide this support. In cases involving children, the court may determine that a parent is unable to work as it is in the best interests of the child for the parent to stay home.

Changes in Circumstances

It is also possible that the amount of time that spousal support is paid can change based on changes in underlying circumstances. Some common circumstances that can influence the need to pay spousal support can include if the recipient of spousal support remarries or starts earning a higher income through normal wages or if a child is now old enough when a parent could start to work.

If you are going through a divorce, it is very important that you receive the proper support and legal representation. For those in the Southern California area, working with Erica Bloom Law is a great option. This family law practice can help ensure you are properly represented during a divorce and receive a fair settlement in terms of custody, spousal support, division of assets, and other important factors.

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