How Many Years Do You Have to Be Married to Get Spousal Support in California?

No one plans on getting divorced. When two people marry each other, they do so under the impression that they will be together for the rest of their lives. As such, they come to rely on one another physically, emotionally, and financially.

When a marriage ends, both individuals have to readjust and adapt to the fact that they will not have the support and help of the other person going forward. This can be extremely difficult, especially when a couple has relied on one another for a very long time. This is the root of why divorces are so emotional and upsetting.

One cannot pass over the significance of separating two lives financially as well as emotionally. Finances have a large impact on our lives, and it can be extremely difficult to adjust when you cannot rely on your spouse’s income any longer. This is especially true if one spouse made the majority of the income in the marriage while the other stayed at home or raised the children.

Spousal support helps to combat the financial impact that a divorce can have. If you are facing divorce or separation, it is important to know about spousal support and how it may affect your divorce proceedings.

What Is Spousal Support?

Spousal support, sometimes called alimony, is a financial agreement between two individuals who are divorcing. These agreements ensure that a higher-earning spouse pays a lower-earning spouse monthly after the divorce is finalized. These payments are intended to help the lower-earning spouse to create a new life and get back on their feet after the divorce. With this money, they have the support that they need to begin looking for their own income or to train for a new career or position.

These types of payments are often necessary to compensate lower-earning individuals for their sacrifices in a marriage. For example, when one spouse puts their career on hold to stay home and raise children, a divorce leaves them with very little recent work experience. It will be difficult for them to resume their work in their field after taking time off and relying on their spouse for income. Spousal support helps them to survive after the divorce and allows them to decide their next steps with some financial stability.

Spousal Support and Marriage Length

Each state has different laws about spousal support. In almost every state, couples must be married for a certain length of time before they can expect spousal support during a divorce. In California, couples are generally married for ten years before they can expect to get spousal support during their divorce.

Though this is the standard, a judge may order spousal support for marriages shorter than ten years as well. Ultimately, your spousal support income will depend upon your situation, your spouse’s income, and any unique factors in your case. According to the law, a marriage that lasts for ten years or more is considered long-term.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last?

It is important to note that spousal support is not a permanent system of support. Generally, spousal support payments last for up to 50% of the length of your marriage if you are married for ten years or less. For example, if you were married for ten years, you could expect to receive spousal support for about five years after your divorce. For marriages longer than ten years, the court will decide what length of time is appropriate for spousal support. In some situations, spousal support may only be for a limited time. In other situations, spousal support will have to be paid until the working spouse retires.

Ending Spousal Support

There are only a few situations that will end spousal support. Of course, when the court-mandated length of time has come to an end, the spousal support payments can stop. This is the most obvious and common way that spousal support will cease.

These payments may also end if the paying spouse dies. Their estate is not expected to continue paying spousal support after they pass away.

Finally, if the spouse receiving the payments remarries or enters into a domestic partnership, the court will approve the end of spousal support payments. This is because the receiving spouse can theoretically rely on someone new for financial support. If you are paying spousal support and believe that your ex-spouse is cohabitating with or relying on a new partner for financial support, you should speak to an attorney. If you can show that your ex-spouse no longer needs your payments, the court may approve them to end.

Does My Divorce Qualify for Spousal Support?

It is natural to wonder whether you will need to pay or get to receive spousal support after a divorce. Because each situation is unique, it can be difficult to tell whether you qualify or not. The best way to know for sure is to speak with a qualified divorce attorney. When you have legal counsel, you can receive answers to your questions that are tailored to your unique situation. This can help you to begin to plan your life after divorce.

No matter your situation, it is important to have expert legal advice for your divorce. Without legal help, you may be taken advantage of in court or not receive the support and settlement that you deserve. Your life is changing, and it is important to make sure that you are beginning your next chapter with proper financial support. If you are a spouse paying spousal support, you need to be sure that you are paying a fair amount and are not being taken advantage of. No matter your situation, you need an attorney.

Contact McCunn Law

For almost 20 years, our team at McCunn Law has been working to help couples going through the divorce process. Whether you need mediation, courtroom litigation, spousal support negotiations, or any other assistance, we are here to make your divorce process as easy and stress-free as possible. With our level of experience, you can be sure that your divorce will be executed efficiently and properly.

For more information on how we can help you and your changing family, contact McCunn Law online today.