Why is a duration of 10 years so important for spousal support in a North County or Carlsbad divorce, especially as it relates to spousal support? Under California family law, a marriage that lasts more than ten years is called a “long duration marriage.” The guidelines for spousal support change significantly at the 10 year mark.
When the marriage has lasted less than ten years, the Court will usually order spousal support to continue for a period roughly equal to no more than half of the duration of the marriage. For example, a marriage lasting 8 years usually results in spousal support for a maximum of 4 years and often less.
What makes a duration of 10 years so important for spousal support in a North County or Carlsbad divorce is the Court must give additional consideration to long term financial implications for both parties. The key issues are the lifestyle the parties are used to maintaining, and each party’s ability to continue that lifestyle after the divorce is completed.
While support orders may extend until the person receiving support remarries or specific cohabitation conditions are met, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will extend for life. The person paying support is generally able to retire at the age of 65, and cannot be forced to continue working simply in order to pay spousal support.
Many other factors such as the age and health of the parties, employment skills, work experience, economic viability come into play. The Judge will also give weight to a spouse who has given up employment to support the other and their children or while an education, advance degree or professional license was obtained. In many of these cases the value of a business or professional practice will be an important issue during property characterization and division.
These are some of the reasons why a duration of 10 years so important for spousal support in a North County or Carlsbad divorce. Spousal support can be negotiated and ultimately agreed upon by the parties. However, it is important to seek the advice and counsel of the experienced Carlsbad Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. Our attorneys have decades of expertise and will review the unique circumstances in your case while providing insight into the calculation of spousal support based upon many factors.