In our last message we discussed the factors that the court looks at when deciding on the amount and length of spousal support. Here is some more helpful information on that subject:
Public policy in California is that every person should be employed and self-supporting to the extent possible for that person. California Law states that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time, defined as half of the length of the marriage. The court may however, order support for a longer or shorter period of time.
Judges around the state strongly encourage unemployed or underemployed spouses to become fully employed to the best of their ability. If this means obtaining an education or training, that spouse is expected to immediately pursue that education/training. This may be difficult for those who have not worked outside of the home and are experiencing the trauma of divorce, but it does need to be done.
If a marriage lasts less than ten years and both spouses are of working age and in good health, the court will generally set a date when the support will terminate and no further support can be ordered after that date. The longest date is usually at the end of one-half of the length of the marriage.
If a marriage is over ten years it is deemed in California to be a “long term marriage” – often the court will not set a spousal support termination date in a long term marriage unless the parties agree to one. It may continue until the death of either party, remarriage of the supported spouse or further order of the court.
Next week will be our 3^rd and final installment on this issue. Please contact us with any questions you or yours may have in this area. We continue to provide a free phone evaluation to see how we can help.