Spousal Support
How Long Can Spousal Support Payments Last in California?

How Long Can Spousal Support Payments Last in California?

May 17, 2019

California Spousal Support FAQ

The purpose of spousal support in California is to help lesser-earning spouses maintain their standard of living during and after divorce. Alimony payments are necessary for couples where one spouse makes most of the income. However, many spouses may be wondering: how long do spousal support payments last in California? The attorneys at  Edgar & Dow explain how the court determines the amount of time a spouse needs to pay spousal support in CA.

Have more questions about a spousal support case? Contact us online!

Who Pays Spousal Support in CA?

In California, the spousal support burden will be on the party who pays to prove that spousal support is not necessary at some point in the future. The court is the one who will decide how long a spouse is expected to pay spousal support by following certain general equitable principles and guidelines.

How Long Are You Expected to Pay Spousal Support in California?

Some of the most common questions about alimony include “How long does alimony last?”, “How long is alimony paid?”, and “How long do you have to be married to get alimony in California?”

In California, the general rule is that spousal support will last for half the length of marriages that last 10 years or less.

Spousal support for long-term marriage in California is different, however. For “long term” marriages that last longer than 10 years, the court will not set an alimony duration.

Time is not the only factor that plays a role in determining the length of alimony payments. Factors outside of the length of the marriage that ends alimony payments include:

  • If the recipient spouse gets remarried
  • If the recipient spouse lives with another person for longer than 3 months
  • If the paying spouse reaches “full retirement age”
  • The death of either spouse

How Is Spousal Support / Alimony Calculated in CA?

In California, spousal support is determined by the court based on a number of factors, including:

  • Earning capacities
  • Contributions by the supported party to the supporting party’s education and career
  • Ability to pay support
  • Needs based on the established marital standard of living
  • Financial obligations and assets
  • Length of the marriage
  • Ability to find gainful employment
  • Age and health
  • History of domestic violence
  • Immediate and specific tax consequences
  • Hardship to either party
  • Criminal records
  • Any factor the court deems just and equitable

Contact the Edgar & Dow

The lawyers at Edgar & Dow are dedicated to the practice of family law and spousal support matters. We have offices in RiversideTemeculaAnaheim, and Palm DesertOur legal team is committed to helping you obtain the best possible results for your case.

Contact our firm today for your initial consultation at (888) 251-9618!


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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