Long Term Spousal Support

California Divorce Mediation

Here is a quick overview of the long term spousal support laws as they pertain specifically to California.

In marriages of less than ten years, the statute provides a presumption that spousal support should be granted for half the length of the marriage.

The California legislature has enacted a statute, which indicates that when permanent support is established at the time of trial, it is an abuse of discretion for the court to set a future termination date if the marriage is of lengthy duration. The statute goes on to indicate that any marriage of ten years in duration is considered a lengthy marriage.

As a practical matter, in the late 1990s it appears that spousal support duration is linked to a transition period from married life to single life. The circumstances vary from person-to-person, but the courts tend to disfavor “lifetime support.” However, where in a long-term marriage the supported spouse is disabled or seriously ill there will probably be a long-term order.

A recent appellate decision the court ruled that the duty of a supporting spouse to continue to work to support their ex-spouse ends at age 65 upon eligibility for retirement.

by: Aaron Dishon, Esq.

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