Divorce can be a long process, especially when figuring out the matter of spousal support. In an effort to ensure fairness, a judge will consider several factors in deciding which spouse will be ordered to pay and how much they will pay. The court will consider factors such as the length of the marriage, the standard of living while married, earning ability of each party, the payee’s ability to make payments, and other factors. The judge will also take into account whether or not the spouse asking for support sacrificed their career in order to support the career of the other spouse.

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in California?

If spousal support (alimony) is awarded, there may be time limits on the agreement. While each state may have its own guidelines, California awards spousal support that is either temporary or permanent. In a temporary payment order, one spouse pays alimony to the other spouse during the divorce process, usually because the payee is in financial need. A temporary order will either expire after the divorce is finalized or until the judge awards permanent alimony. How long does permanent alimony last in California? It depends on the length of the marriage. The payment of spousal support may last up to half the length of the marriage for marriages lasting less than ten years. If the marriage lasted more than ten years, the payment of alimony has no end date.

Can a Spousal Support Order be Terminated?

If permanent spousal support has been ordered, it can feel overwhelming for the spouse scheduled to pay with no end in sight. While permanent spousal support may be hard to get out of in California, there are ways to have the payments decreased, set to zero, or even terminated for good. If your spouse remarries or increases their income, it may be enough for a zero payment or termination. If your income greatly decreases, or you hit retirement age and decide to stop working, the spousal payments may be terminated. The death of the payee will also terminate spousal support since their estate is not allowed to receive spousal support at that point. There are many factors impacting the amount of money and the length of payments in California, which is why it may be helpful to consult with an alimony attorney during the process.

Alimony Lawyers May be Able to Help

Navigating the matter of spousal support can feel overwhelming. There are a lot of questions and concerns about the financial future. If you are the spouse being ordered to pay, it might feel like a life sentence to your finances. If you are the payee, you want to make sure the deal is fair to you. Alimony lawyers familiar with California laws offer legal counsel no matter which spouse you are in the divorce. From modifying payment amounts based on loss of income to fighting for a higher monthly payment, alimony lawyers know the ins and outs of these complex matters which may make all the difference in your case. Contact our law firm today at (310) 271-7675 for more information on how we can help.