I client had recently asked for some information regarding California spousal support and long term marriages. I sent them the below email and later realized it would be a good article for all my readers and clients. It was not personalized so is applicable to all.
I wanted to send some information regarding spousal support. Keep in mind I am not an attorney so will be including some links for your review and my thoughts. There are entire trials on support and for every law or case that argues in one directions there is equally as many to argue the opposite position.
On long term marriages of over 10 years, the courts generally will maintain jurisdiction over the issue of spousal support indefinitely. This essentially means that it is under the court’s jurisdiction to modify up, down, or terminate support upon motion of one of the parties when there is a change in circumstances (such as change in income, etc.) This is often misunderstood to be considered lifetime support. While support in long term marriages can end up being for lifetime, that would be up to the court upon motion of the parties.
Here is a link with good information on spousal support, including long term marriages.
Spousal support is there to assist the spouse to get back on their feet after marriage. The duration of support is a very grey area, and the party receiving support is supposed to make reasonable efforts to become self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time. This timeframe is a very grey area and is often called a “Gavron Order”
Here is a good link for this information.
For purposes of you guys, you can agree to a specified period of time, however as the court will maintain jurisdiction over support, the court order could also simply read, “until further order of the court”