Can I Receive Permanent Alimony in California?


For many, getting a divorce is just as much of a legal matter as it is emotional. There are many considerations those going through this process must make, from how they will split their marital property to whether or not they will request alimony from their spouse. If you are going through a divorce, you may have many questions regarding your right to spousal support, such as how much your payments will be and whether or not permanent alimony is ever awarded. If you’re searching for answers, the following blog and Los Angeles spousal support attorneys can help you navigate this complex matter.

What Factors Influence Alimony in California?

In California, several factors influence whether or not someone will receive alimony. Many falsely assume that alimony is automatically awarded to the lower-earning spouse. In reality, spousal support must be requested, and if you and your spouse cannot agree on the amounts, the judge assigned to your divorce must consider several factors before they award funds. These considerations include:

  • The age and health of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s annual income
  • The earning capability of each spouse
  • Whether or not one spouse put their career on hold to support the other
  • The financial and domestic contributions of each spouse
  • Whether or not one spouse requires education or training to pursue a career
  • The current job market

Is Permanent Alimony Ever Awarded?

When awarded alimony, it will generally only last for a predetermined period, as agreed upon by you and your spouse or ordered by the judge. Generally, in marriages that last less than ten years, the guideline is that alimony will last for half of the time of the marriage. However, for marriages longer than ten years, there is no assumption.

In some instances, you may only receive temporary alimony, which lasts until your divorce is finalized. More commonly, you will receive alimony payments extending past your divorce but still eventually end. This is because spousal support is not intended to act as a primary form of income but rather to supplement the earnings of the dependent spouse until they can become financially independent.

However, in rare circumstances, a spouse may be awarded permanent alimony. This generally occurs when one spouse has a chronic health issue or their age prevents them from working. As such, alimony can last as long as necessary.

As you can see, many factors influence whether or not alimony is awarded and, if so, how long it will last. That’s why it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney from the Zitser Family Law Group as soon as possible to assist you with any issues you may have regarding alimony payments. Our team will do everything possible to help you navigate these complex matters to the best of your abilities. Contact us today to learn how we can guide you through these challenging times.

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