The significance of a ten-year marriage in your divorce proceeding.

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The ten-year marriage rule has been getting increased attention from many people, especially those seeking to get a divorce.  Some people think that they don’t have to pay spousal support if the marriage is under ten years. Some people think that they have to pay child and spousal support for life if the marriage lasted ten years or more. There are others who think that the length of marriage has nothing to do with spousal or child support.

The truth is that whether your marriage lasted ten years or more does affect the length of payments, not the amount, of spousal support.  The courts generally termed a ten-year plus marriage as “a long term marriage.”  California courts have the power to order temporary spousal support and/or permanent spousal support.  The length of marriage is irrelevant as to the determination of whether a spouse is entitled to temporary spousal support.  However, the court has to make a finding regarding the length of the marriage in ordering or refusing to order permanent spousal support.  Generally, for marriage that lasted less than ten years, the court may order permanent spousal support for half the length of the marriage. For long term marriages, the court may order one party to pay the other party spousal support without a cut-off date.  It is important to note that for the purpose of calculating the length of marriage, the date of marriage and the date of separation are used, not the date that one party files a petition for dissolution of marriage.


To learn more about your rights in a divorce, call 310-212-7109 and ask to speak to an attorney.

****The opinion above is not intended to be legal advice and absolutely does not create any attorney-client relationship between its author and the readers. Please consult an attorney for information or advice specific to your legal issue.****

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Posted in: Family Law, Law, Uncategorized