We are often asked “how long will I have to pay spousal support after a San Diego divorce?” Is this going to last months? Years? Do I have to pay spousal support until they pass away or remarry?
These are all valid questions. Let’s begin with the question “why is spousal support awarded?” Under California family law, spousal support is provided to level the economic playing field between the parties during the course of the divorce (known as temporary spousal support) and for a period of time after the process is completed (referred to as permanent spousal support).
There is no single formula, but the general answer to “how long will I have to pay spousal support?” is generally based upon the length of the marriage, the economic viability of each party, the age and health of the former spouses and actions one spouse may have taken to support the other during the term of that marriage.
“If we were only married for a short time how long will I have to pay spousal support?” Generally speaking, if the marriage lasted less than 10 years spousal support will usually not exceed a time frame roughly equal to half of the duration of the marriage itself. Often it is less, if any spousal support is ordered at all.
“How long will I have to pay spousal support if we were married for a long time?” Generally speaking, when the underlying marriage lasted longer than 10 years spousal support is more common and can last for a longer period of time. This is especially true if one spouse gave up a career to stay home to raise children, support the other spouse or manage the household.
The Judge will consider many factors such as the ability of the recipient of spousal support to become self-sustaining, marketable skills and the potential for education or job training.
Spousal support may be negotiated between the parties or established through the process of mediation. The Court will have to review any proposed settlement but generally accepts a fair and equitable arrangement.
If you are concerned about spousal support issues during and after a San Diego divorce we invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.