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Alimony In California After 20 Years

How Long Does The Court Award Alimony In California After 10years Of Marriage

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The short answer is, it depends on the situation and thefacts of your particular marriage.

Today, it is not enough to be married to thesame spouse for 10 years and assume you have a long-term marriage.

The factorsthe court often takes into consideration include, but are not necessarilylimited to the following.

  • The disparity of income between the spouses.
  • How long after the 10 year mark did the marriage continue?There is a big difference between 10 ½ years and 20 years when evaluating theduration of alimony.
  • The earning capacity, ability and opportunity of thelower earning or unemployed spouse.
  • The marital standard living as frugal, middle-class,upper – middle-class, or lavish.
  • The factors set forth in California Family Code 4320.
  • Thefisher V Fisher Decision

    A 2008 Ontario Court of Appeal decision,Fisher v Fisher dealt with support in the case of a marriage lasting 19 years. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the trial judge, who used the Guidelines to determine spousal support but concluded that any economic disadvantage suffered by Mrs. Fisher as a result of the marriage was not sufficient to warrant indefinite support. Mrs. Fisher was awarded 7 years of spousal support for her 19 year marriage.

    Despite the long marriage, Mrs. Fisher did not meet either the 20-year threshold or the Rule of 65. The Court of Appeal made the following observations:Indefinite support is appropriate after a long-term marriage because the dependent spouse is often of an age that makes it difficult to achieve economic self-sufficiencyEven though this marriage was lengthy the trial judge decided that an indefinite order was not appropriate. In making this determination, the trial judge considered the appellants employment position and relative youth. There were no children of the marriage, and Mrs. Fisher was only 41, had worked periodically throughout the marriage, and was employable.

    If youve been married for 20 years or more or may fit the Rule of 65, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities as they relate to spousal support. Call 581-7222 to learn how an Ontario family lawyer can assist you.

    If There Has Been Domestic Violence Does That Effect Spousal Support

    Yes. This issue has been the subject of several recent changes in the law. First, the occurrence of domestic violence during marriage is a factor that the court must consider under Family Code 4320 when determining permanent spousal support, so long as the domestic violence is documented. Second, Family Code 4325 states that in any case where a spouse is convicted of domestic violence against the spouse within the past five years, there is a rebuttable presumption that the perpetrator spouse is not entitled to receive spousal support.

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    North County Ca Divorce Lawyer

    When seeking to establish, modify or terminate spousal support in California, it is critical to carefully assess all of the unique facts and circumstances involved in your individual case. The terms of your divorce decree are important, as are the various factors that merit consideration in spousal support matters under California law. If you are preparing for a divorce or have questions about modifying or terminating spousal support, the Law Office of Renkin & Associates can help. To request a confidential case evaluation, please call 619-299-7100 or inquire online today.

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    What Is The Difference Between Temporary Spousal Support And Permanent Spousal Support

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    A temporary spousal support order is granted on a temporary basis, generally occurring during the divorce and legal separation judgment and before a final judgment has been entered. Temporary support is awarded to help the economically disadvantaged spouse maintain the marital standard of living while the divorce proceeding is pending. A permanent spousal support order is the financial assistance the supporting spouse pays the supported party after the judgment of dissolution or legal separation is entered and the issue of spousal support has been resolved.

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    What Is The Average Alimony Payment In California

    The best way to determine, on average, how much an individual might pay for alimony is by taking 35% to 45% of the highest income earners salary and subtracting 40% to 50% of the lower-income earners salary. These are only rough estimates, and the actual amount of alimony payments will vary depending on the specific situation.

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    Factors In Spousal Support

    The factors that are spelled out in California law are:

    • The needs of each spouse, based on the standard of living they had during the marriage
    • The earning ability of each spouse, taking into account their marketable skills, the job market for those skills, how much time and training the lower-earning spouse would need to develop those skills, and how much that spouses earning capacity was reduced because of time taken out of the job market to care for children and the home during the marriage
    • the supporting spouses ability to pay spousal support
    • the supported spouses ability to be gainfully employed without unduly interfering with the best interest of the children
    • each spouses age and health
    • each spouses debts and assets, including their separate property
    • the duration of the marriage lasted
    • how much the lower-earning spouse contributed to the others educational degree or professional license during the marriage
    • whether theres documented history of domestic violence against either party or the children
    • the balance of hardships for each spouse
    • any other factors the judge believes should be considered, based on whats fair

    Also Check: What Qualifies You For Alimony

    Other Questions About Alimony In California

    Infidelity does not have an impact on California’s alimony laws. Infidelity may have other impacts on divorce and for that, we encourage you to read our article on how infidelity affects a divorce.

    Permanent or “lifetime” alimony in California is somewhat of a misnomer.

    With rare exceptions, most alimony orders in long-term marriages state they continue until the death of either party, remarriage of the spouse receiving support or that spouse’s new domestic partnership, or further order of the court, whichever occurs first. That further order of the court language is what allows future modifications.

    Therefore, when people talk of permanent or lifetime alimony, they usually misunderstand California law on this issue.

    That does not mean that spouses cannot negotiate permanent or lifetime alimony but alimony by its very nature must end upon death.

    If alimony continues even after death, the question becomes whether it is alimony. It would be best to ask your tax professional that question because family law attorneys generally do not provide tax advice.

    Spouses can also negotiate alimony amounts that are unmodifiable until a particular event in the future, such as death or remarriage. Spouses can even negotiate that remarriage does not necessarily terminate alimony, although that is unusual.

    Alimony has reformed to some extent already in California. In the much older days, hitting the 10-year mark almost felt like a retirement contract for one of the spouses.

    Does The Fact That I Have Been Married For Over 10 Years Have Any Significant Effect On Spousal Support

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    Yes. The duration of a spousal support order generally depends on the length of the marriage. For marriages that have lasted for less than 10 years, the court will generally order spousal support for a period equal to half the length of the marriage. For example, if you have been married for 6 years, the court generally orders that spousal support by paid by the supporting party for 3 years. However, for marriages that are more than 10 years in length, the court may not set a date for the termination of spousal support. Instead, the court may order the parties to return to court in the future to determine whether the spousal support obligation should continue or be modified. California law does not condone long-drawn-out spousal support obligations thus, the court provides that the supported spouse is expected to become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time even for marriages that have lasted for more than 10 years.

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    Q: My Spouse Doesnt Work And Doesnt Want To Can I Force Him Or Her To Become Self

    You cant force them to get a job, but you can obtain a vocational assessment and have to court consider lowering or terminating support if they have not sought out employment. The court can also assign them a fictional income if you can prove they are purposefully avoiding employment despite the availability of positions consistent with their skills.

    How Much Spousal Support Will Be Ordered

    • In California, the Superior Courts of Solano counties have adopted a spousal support guideline called the Santa Clara Guideline formula for use in temporary spousal support. Alameda and Contra Costa counties have adopted the Alameda Guideline formula. The guideline states that the paying spouses support be presumptively 40% of his or her net monthly income, reduced by one-half of the receiving spouses net monthly income. If child support is an issue, spousal support is calculated after child support is calculated.
    • Deciding permanent support is a much more detailed process with many factors to be considered. Family Code Section 4320 is the controlling statute that the court must consider in establishing permanent spousal support.

    Learn about the steps youll take during separation and avoid mistakes along the way. Be better prepared to start your divorce with tailored info from attorney, Cristin Lowe.

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    Is Alimony Mandatory In California

    In California, alimony is not mandatory. However, if one spouse earns significantly more than the other, the court may order them to pay alimony to the lower-earning spouse. Other factors that could influence a courts decision include:

    While alimony is not mandatory in California, the court will often order payments based on a number of these factors. Therefore, if youre trying to avoid paying alimony, its essential to be aware of these factors and consider them when making your case.

    Q: What Is Spousal Support What Is Alimony

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    Spousal support is the term used for payments from one spouse to another after a divorce for the purpose of maintaining the former spouses standard of living during the marriage.

    The term alimony means the same thing as spousal support.Spousal support laws seek to prevent a divorced spouse from suffering a standard of living decrease. Both terms are interchangeable when discussing post-divorce support.

    Often times after a divorce, one spouse is untrained or has been out of the workforce for such a significant amount of time that it becomes difficult for them to quickly attain a job or professional position that allows them to maintain their expected standard of living.

    Spousal support in California is meant to bridge the gap between the time it takes for that spouse to obtain employment or resources that meet their cost of living needs.

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    Disability Of The Spouse

    In most cases, alimony in California is capped at three years. Severe disability is the only situation where California may award alimony for life. The person must suffer from incapacitating mental or physical disabilities. These disabilities must be such that the person has is unable to work. This is in contrast to someone losing the ability to walk but being able to work in another industry after theyve been retrained. However, the fact that they dont want to work in a new field or dont want to work at all is not a reason to claim spousal support for the rest of their lives.

    The Formula For Duration

    As with amount, duration under the without child support formula increases with the length of marriage. Subject to the provisions for indefinite support , the formula generates ranges for duration with the ends of the ranges determined as follows:

    • a minimum duration of half the length of the marriage and
    • a maximum duration of the length of the marriage.

    It is important to remember, as discussed in Chapter 5 on application, that any periods of interim support are to be included in the durational ranges.

    The ranges for duration under the without child support formula are admittedly very broad, allowing for an award at the top end of the range that is effectively double in value that at the bottom end. This will be particularly significant in medium-length marriages. Given the uncertainties in the current law on duration, it was not possible to come up with tighter ranges.

    The formula also provides for indefinite support in two circumstances:

    • when the marriage has been 20 years or longer in length or
    • when the marriage has lasted five years or longer, if the years of marriage plus the age of the support recipient at the time of separation equals or exceeds 65 and .

    The “rule of 65” recognizes that length of marriage cannot be the only factor in determining the duration of spousal support in marriages without dependent children. Age is also a significant factor as it affects the ability to become self-supporting.

    7.5.1The Tendency to Ignore Duration

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    How Long Does Spousal Support Last In California

    Hossein Berenji, Jul 15, 2021

    Spousal support in California ends when a court order ends the payments. Support payments also end when one of the individuals dies. Likewise, if the person receiving spousal support gets remarried or registers a new domestic partnership, spousal support should end.

    The length of spousal support payments depends on numerous factors. Some individuals may be ordered to pay temporary spousal support when a divorce case is pending. The temporary spousal support may become permanent or long-term spousal support when the court issues a final order.

    Determining How Long You Have To Pay Alimony In California

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    As we have seen, spousal support arrangements are complicated and depend on a variety of factors. In addition, these agreements can be adjusted at any time by agreement of the parties or they can be litigated in situations where the circumstances have changed but an agreement is hard to come by.

    In addition, every individual circumstance is different, including the earning potential of the supported party and the ability of the paying party to support their ex. If you are wondering how long you have to pay alimony in California, you can run calculations for temporary spousal support on online calculators, but discussing your options with an attorney is often your best bet, especially for divorces or domestic partnerships with a lot at stake.

    At Van Voorhis & Sosna, we have handled spousal support negotiation, mediation, and litigation for hundreds of clients. We know the complexities of divorce in the Bay Area because family law is our sole focus. We offer legal advice and representation based on integrity, trust, and understanding. Contact us today, or call 415.274.2530 to schedule a free legal consultation.

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    Alimony In California After A Long

    Alimony in California after a long-term marriage is often a bit different from alimony after a shorter-term marriage.

    Theres actually a popular myth that says if youve been married for 10 years or more, youre entitled to receive alimony for the rest of your life but thats exactly what it is: a myth.

    Spousal Support In Long

    Under California law, the amount and duration of alimony depend on the length of the marriage, among other factors. Judges classify short-term marriages as marriages that last less than 10 years, and long-term marriages as longer than 10 years.

    If the need for support exists after a short-term marriage, a judge may order alimony for half the marriages duration. This means that if a marriage lasted 8 years, spousal support may only be ordered for 4 years.

    In long-term marriages, however, spousal support is paid for as long as the receiving party needs financial support. Contrary to short-term marriages, alimony after long-term marriages typically has no expiration date the supported party will receive financial support for as long as he or she needs.

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    What Is A Gavron Warning

    A Gavron Warning is essentially a court notice advising supported spouses that they are expected to become self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time. The goal is to prevent them from relying indefinitely on their former spouse to support them.

    The Gavron Warning gets its name from the case , decided in 1988 by the Second Appellate District Court of California. The court ruled that before modifying or terminating a spousal support order, the supported party must be informed of their obligations to become self-sufficient. Around this time, courts began to move away from the idea of permanent spousal support orders in favor of the requirement that supported spouses make efforts to become self-sufficient.

    Alimony After 20 Years Of Marriage In California


    When a couple divorces after 20 years of marriage in California, the court may order one spouse to pay the other alimony for a period of time. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a payment from one spouse to the other to help them maintain their standard of living after the divorce.

    In California, there are a number of factors the court will consider when determining whether to order alimony and how much to order. These factors include the couples income, property, and debts, as well as their ages and the length of their marriage. The court will also consider whether one spouse is financially dependent on the other.

    Generally, the spouse who is ordered to pay alimony will do so for a period of time that allows the other spouse to get back on their feet. However, there is no set time limit for alimony in California, and the court may order alimony to be paid for a number of years or even indefinitely.

    If you are considering divorce and you have been married for 20 years or more, it is important to understand how alimony may be ordered in your case. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand your rights and can guide you through the divorce process.


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