When going through a divorce, many couples end up receiving—or are having to pay—either child support or spousal support (also known as alimony). While it is understood that child support will be paid until the child is out of school or reaches adulthood, it is not so clear cut how long spousal support is required to be paid to a former spouse. There are a number of factors that go into how long spousal support lasts, which we will discuss below.
Spousal support is meant to provide for the spouse until such a time that she/he is able to support themselves. Alimony is most often paid when there is a large gap in pay between the spouses prior to divorce, and it helps the spouse that makes less money maintain the lifestyle that they lived before the divorce; this wage differential may arise from the types of jobs that the partners hold, or it may stem from one spouse working while one stays at home, either for the kids or for other reasons.
So how long is spousal support required to be paid? While the time period varies from case to case, the payments are meant to be rehabilitative and only required until the recipient can support themselves financially. There are both long-term and short-term alimony arrangements; long-term alimony payments usually last for about half as long as the length of your marriage, while short-term payments may last for just six months. Some alimony payments even have the stipulation that the support ends if the other spouse gets married. The length of your marriage is a leading factor in determining how much money you can expect to pay or receive spousal support.
If you have questions about spousal support and whether or not you are legally obligated to pay, and for how long, contact our offices today. The Law Office Of Anne Dowden Saxton is familiar with spousal support laws and conditions here in the state of California, and we would be happy to discuss your situation with you. Our attorneys are here to help make your divorce proceedings as painless as possible and can help you in all steps of the process, including spousal support.