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Typical California Divorce Settlements about Spousal Support

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If you are getting divorced in California, you probably have several significant concerns. One of the most frequently voiced concerns is how much spousal support is typically awarded. When considering typical divorce settlements that involve spousal support, it’s essential to review the details of each case.

What are the typical divorce settlements about spousal support in California?

The first pertinent detail to consider is the length of the marriage.

Short Term: The court will typically award spousal support for the half the duration of the marriage if the length of the marriage qualifies as a “short term marriage.” For calculating California spousal support, it is common to consider any marriage of fewer than ten years to be short term. The judge has the power to treat what would typically be regarded as a short term marriage as a long term marriage, depending on the facts of the divorce case.

In a typical California divorce settlement involving a marriage of fewer than ten years, the court awards spousal support for a time period equal to half the duration of the marriage. For example, if a couple was married for eight years, the court would typically award spousal support for four years.

Long Term: When a marriage lasted ten or more years, the California family court considers it a long term marriage. In cases involving a long term marriage, the typical settlement’s spousal support award does not include a termination date. Many believe that once a marriage has hit the ten-year mark, any spousal support award will be in place forever. This is not necessarily true. Indeed, divorce settlements involving a marriage of ten years or more don’t have a termination date set for spousal support (other than the remarriage of the other spouse or death of either party), but it is not automatic. For example, if a marriage is 13 years long, the typical divorce settlement would include a spousal support order in place until the death of either party, remarriage of the supported party, or further order from the court. Additional orders from the court may come in the form of a portion of the order addressing the future of the award in connection to a reduction of spousal support, termination of spousal support, or the court’s power to award either.  

Don’t assume that your case fits into a cookie-cutter mold when it comes to spousal support. Considering typical scenarios can be useful in getting an idea of the possibilities, but there is no replacement for working with an experienced and knowledgeable California divorce attorney. Get in touch with The Maggio Law Firm today so we can help you analyze the facts of your case under California law.

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