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How Long Will You Need To Pay Spousal Support?


Right after a marriage concludes, it is likely that one spouse will need to pay some form of spousal support to their now-former spouse.

To ensure that this spousal support is ideal for both parties, it is wise to be aware of the different types of spousal support a court can order and the duration of time this support will last.

What Is Spousal Support? 

Spousal support is defined as the following: monetary support paid by one former spouse to another spouse, usually for a specific period of time that is defined within the spousal support order.

The purpose of spousal support is to ensure that a lower-earner spouse can support themselves after a divorce.

By paying spousal support, a former spouse can have what they need to live the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to, without any significant financial difficulties, or can have sufficient financial support to work toward becoming self-supporting.

What Are The Two Types Of Spousal Support? 

Within the state of California, there are two types of spousal support. These two types of spousal support are as follows:

  • Permanent or long-term spousal support.
  • Temporary spousal support.

Even though both types of spousal support are similar, there are several distinctions that set them apart from one another. The distinctions, in question, are as follows:

  • Permanent or long-term spousal support is a form of financial support that can last as long as the court deems it necessary.
  • Temporary spousal support is a form of financial support that a court can order a spouse to pay throughout the divorce process.

Regarding permanent or long-term spousal support, the length of the order is dependent on many factors. No matter what these factors are, this support will be an ongoing payment made after the divorce is finalized.

Regarding temporary spousal support, this form of support is only paid throughout the divorce process. The purpose of temporary spousal support is to ensure that, during the divorce process, a receiving spouse can maintain the status quo and support themselves.

How Long Will You Need To Pay Spousal Support? 

The exact answer to this question is completely dependent on the specifics behind a particular divorce case. Even though this is the case, there are a number of guidelines that determine a spousal support order.

Some of the most notable guidelines to consider are as follows:

  • The length of spousal support is often (but not always) half of the length of the marriage.
  • A marriage that lasted for longer than ten years can lead to a support order with no termination date.
  • Spousal support will end when the paying spouse dies or demonstrates that spousal support is no longer warranted for the receiving spouse.
  • Spousal support will end when the receiving spouse remarries or dies.

Each one of the guidelines outlined above is less of a rule and more of a commonality. The specifics of a spousal support order can, and will, be defined by either the divorcing spouses or a judge. This is especially true if the marriage lasted for more than ten years and the other spouse is in need of significant financial assistance.

Contact A San Jose Attorney Today 

Spousal support can be tricky, regardless of whether or not you’re the payer or the recipient. Contact our San Jose spousal support attorneys today and we will assist you in obtaining the best possible legal outcome.


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