Does the Length of Marriage Determine Spousal Support Payments?

man handing money to person

When you and your spouse separate, you may hear an overwhelming amount of myths surrounding divorce. For example, you may worry you and your spouse weren’t married long enough to receive alimony. However, understanding what can influence whether or not you are eligible for spousal support payments can help you focus on the facts. Keep reading to learn more about what can impact your eligibility for financial aid and how Los Angeles spousal support attorneys can help you navigate this challenging time.

Does the Length of a Marriage Impact Alimony in CA?

Unfortunately, many are unfamiliar with the rules and guidelines surrounding alimony payments and believe the need to be married for a minimum amount of time to be eligible for spousal support.

In reality, you can receive spousal support regardless of how long you were married, as there is no minimum duration you must be married to receive aid. However, the length of your union can influence how long the spousal support will last. This is because the courts have decided to grant the recipient party a “reasonable amount of time” to become financially independent. In general, if the marriage lasted over ten years, you will likely have half time to receive support. This is just a generality, as it is ultimately up to the discretion of the judge to determine how long they will order alimony based on the other factors.

Though there is no minimum a couple must be married to receive compensation, the shorter the marriage, the more unlikely it is that someone would receive compensation. For example, if a couple was only married for six months, it is unlikely that the recipient spouse would be accustomed to the marital standard of living, especially if the receiving spouse did not request temporary alimony. However, if there is a significant income disparity between parties, the courts will take this into consideration.

What Additional Factors Influence Spousal Support Payments?

The most significant factor that will influence the outcome of whether or not you are eligible for alimony is your earning capacity. This is determined by the courts after examining your skills, the job market, and how much it would cost for you to receive the skills necessary to pursue a job.

Similarly, the courts will consider how old and healthy you and your spouse are, as they may determine that you are of a reasonable age and health to support yourself. Similarly, they will consider your spouse’s earning capacity before ordering them to pay alimony if they are unable to. This helps make it as fair as possible for both parties.

When you’re going through a divorce, understanding your rights is essential. At the Zitser Family Law Group, our dedicated legal team will examine your circumstances to help you fight for the alimony you deserve. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you through this difficult time.

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