Long-Term Marriage = Spousal Support Forever?

Upon filing a Petition for Divorce, one might ask for how long does a support order last.  It all depends.  The “general” rule is that if a couple is married for less than 10 years, and one party needs the financial assistance from the other party, then the Court may award spousal support to that party for up to one-half the length of the marriage.  If a couple is married more than 20 years, the “general” rule is that the party needing support may receive support from the other party until the death of either party, remarriage of the supported spouse or until further order of the court, whichever first occurs.  These are just “general” provisions.

Spousal Support is not always guaranteed to either party.  There are many factors the Court must consider when ordering either a temporary or permanent support order. The Court takes many factors into consideration when making an Order for support such as Family Code Section 4320 which partially states:  (a) The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, taking into account all of the following: (1) The marketable skills of the supported party; (2) The extent to which the supported party’s present or future earning capacity is impaired by periods of unemployment that were incurred during the marriage to permit the supported party to devote time to domestic duties. (b) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party. (c) The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the supporting party’s earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living. (d) The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage. (e) The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party. (f) The duration of the marriage. (g) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party. (h) The age and health of the parties. (i) Documented evidence of any history of domestic violence between the parties, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party, and consideration of any history of violence against the supporting party by the supported party. (j) The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party. (k) The balance of the hardships to each party.

For best results, I would recommend a consultation with Mr. Bawden, as he has been practicing law for over 25 years and is a Family Law Specialist.  He has conducted many trials in the Riverside and San Bernardino County Courts.   Mr. Bawden can “run” the figures using the same program as the Court uses in determining support.  This will give you an idea of what you can expect to receive or pay in spousal support.  Mr. Bawden’s office is in downtown Redlands and offers easy access on and off the 10 freeway.

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