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Divorce Paralegal in Murrieta Writes: Spousal Support is NOT permanent after 10 years of Marriage…

There are many myths about divorce. While a Independent Divorce Paralegal, now called a Legal Document Assistant, cannot give legal advice, we CAN tell anyone anything that is factually true. It is a FACT that ten years of marriage does not confer permanent spousal support, sometimes called alimony, for a spouse.

Ten years of marriage IS a cutoff for the half-the-length-of-the-marriage rule. If a marriage endures for LESS than 10 years, the spousal support order, if one is made, is automatically one-half the length of the marriage, although it’s imaginable that someone, somewhere, got a ruling/order from a Judge that set the rule aside and an order was made that was longer than half-the-length-of-the-marriage. An 8 year marriage MAY have a spousal support order of 4 years. But, I’ve never read of a case that contradicted the one-half the length of the marriage rule.

Once a marriage endures LONGER than 10 years, there is still no “permanent” spousal support. A judge will take MANY factors into consideration: age of the parties, working/non-working, disabilities, earning capacity, standard of living during the marriage, among other factors. The State of California Family Law code states that both parties should become self-supporting as soon as possible, whenever possible. A marriage of 10-15 years will be treated differently than a 15-20 year marriage, again given the unique factors of each marriage, and a 20+ year marriage will be dealt with differently as well. Judges have biases, attorney’s level of effectiveness varies, declarations put before the court, what is argued in court, even demeanor of the parties will affect the outcome. Whatever happens, an order for spousal support will be a roll of the dice in front of a Judge, no human being can predict the outcome. Guideline support can be estimated, but an Order is far different than a calculation of guideline support.

Support orders can be modified, which means changed, especially at a second hearing held after initial orders are made and the supported party has been given time to look for work/update skills. Spousal support orders may be reduced at a future hearing, and depending upon the FACTS put in front of the court, Orders can be changed. All in all, it’s best to get FACTS, don’t make assumptions. DIY Divorce serves Murrieta, Temecula, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Canyon Lake, Wildomar, Perris, Sun City, Winchester, Hemet, and all other areas of Southwest Riverside County. Call 951-795-3900 for information.

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