The content is not legal advice. We are not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The goal is for the supported spouse to be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. The length of the parties' marriage is judged as a preliminary matter from the time of the marriage to the date of separation. Here are the rules on Social Security and divorce. You don't need to have celebrated your silver wedding anniversary to have a lengthy marriage in the eyes of California courts. Except in marriages of a long duration, this time period is generally one-half the length of the marriage; however, the court can assign spousal support for a longer or shorter period of time. However, this is only a general rule. By Elizabeth Stock. The court may order a lesser or greater period of support after evaluating the factors set forth in the Family Code and considering the circumstances of the parties; it may even decide that the lesser-earning spouse in a marriage of long duration will never be able to support himself or herself and requires support for life. California law uses the term "spousal support," also known as alimony, to describe payments that one divorcing spouse is ordered to pay the other to maintain the lesser-earning spouse at the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. Something else does, however, automatically occur if you have been married … / California Divorce Guide / Spousal Support / Benefits of Being Married 10 Years. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were married for more than 10 years before their split in March 2014. Under the USFSPA, the 10/10 rule allows eligible former spouses of servicemembers to receive their court-ordered portion of the servicemember's retired pay directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Process feeling overwhelming? One of the most troublesome involves the 10-year rule. And, in a divorce or legal separation in California, it will be treated as community property. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. So generally speaking, a person divorcing after nine-and-a-half years of marriage is presumed entitled to four years and three months of alimony. This amount is on the low end for a contested divorce in Orange County, and it does not include the legal fees for an appeal. For purposes of determining spousal support during divorce, Riverside courts will generally divide marriages into two types: short-term (less than 10 years) and long term (10 years or more). What Is Family Support Vs. Spousal Support? This is a very common misconception about California divorce law. In a nine-and-a-half-year marriage, the court does not retain jurisdiction over the parties. This is a simpler process, which generally doesn't require an appearance before a judge. As a result, the court will divide marital property equally if spouses later divorce. Under California Family Code Section 4336, a divorce court does not automatically lose jurisdiction after dissolving a marriage of long duration; therefore, it may continue to amend its orders over time. Often, the spouse who brings in less income has the right to be paid for as long as he or she needs, and as long as the other spouse can afford it. However, this is only a general rule. Under California Family Code Section 4336, a divorce court does not automatically lose jurisdiction after dissolving a marriage of long duration; therefore, it may continue to amend its orders over time. Absent evidence to the contrary, the court must presume that a marriage of 10 years or more is a marriage of long duration; it may also find that a marriage of less than 10 years qualifies as a marriage of long … For example, if a couple married Jan. 1, 2009, and filed for separation Jan. 1, 2019, but didn't live together between 2014 and 2016, courts may determine this is not a marriage of long duration, thus the court can choose not to retain jurisdiction. Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! © LegalZoom.com, Inc. All rights reserved. A judge may award alimony even after the divorce is final, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. California courts are required by law to consider several factors set out in Family Code Section 4320 when awarding spousal support. When a marriage has lasted 10 years or more, the courts apply a different standard. For 401(k) and other pension plans, this means that the non-participant spouse shall receive 50 percent of the value of the retirement plan accrued during the length of the marriage. We're available Mon-Fri 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT and weekends 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT. As a general rule, a nine-and-a-half-year marriage is not considered a marriage of long duration in the state of California. This is not, however, true. The purpose of spousal support (or alimony) is to minimize the economic impact of the divorce on the spouse who was not the couple’s primary income earner. The law specifically states, “Nothing in this section is intended to limit the … Divorce is becoming more and more common, and with this rise in divorce comes an inevitable rise in “urban myths” surrounding this process. In a less than 10-year marriage in California, the general standard for the appropriate length of time for alimony is one half of the length of the marriage. Once the six years have passed, the alimony ceases. Common myths about divorce include the idea that fathers never gain custody of their children or that only fathers are required to pay child support. Here is a 10 step guide that shows the smart way of doing it. Terms of Use and While the above statement is partially correct as some states consider a marriage of 10 years or more a long-term marriage, divorce after 10 years in California does not mean an ex-spouse will automatically receive permanent spousal support. If you earn less than your spouse, and you have been married for at least ten years, you have the right to be paid alimony for as long as it is needed and for as long as your spouse can pay. In other words, eligibility under the 10/10 Rule is measured from the date of marriage until the date the parties are divorced, not until the date the parties separate. One decade does it, in terms of altering your rights to alimony in a divorce. When the court is determining how long spousal support payments should last, it must apply a different standard to marriages of long duration. If you have been married for less than five years, have no children, don't own real estate, and have relatively limited property and debts, you may qualify for a summary dissolution. The 10-Year Rule, however, simply requires for direct payment from DFAS that the parties were married at least 10 years during which the military spouse served at least 10 years. You're in luck. Official California Legislative Information: Family Code Section 4330-4339, Official California Legislative Information: Family Code Section 4320-4326, Pinkham Law Offices: Divorce and Divorce Mediation, Dishon and Block: Top 10 Pieces of Divorce Advice You Are Going to Need. Duration of the marriage is included in the list of factors to be considered. However, for a couple married 10 years or more, if the court awards six years of alimony, and then circumstances change, the parties can return to court to request alimony for a longer period of time. Spousal Support in Perpetuity, If the Divorce Occurs After 10 Years of Marriage. In reality, there is no “Ten Year Rule.” Here are the facts: California law (Family Code Section 4336(a)) says that where a marriage is “of long duration,” the court “retains jurisdiction” indefinitely after the divorce is completed, unless the spouses agree otherwise. To be eligible to file in any county in California, at least one of the spouses must have lived in that county for three months before filing for divorce. California is one of a handful of states in which there are special spousal support rules for marriages of 10 years or longer. Absent evidence to the contrary, the court must presume that a marriage of 10 years or more is a marriage of long duration; it may also find that a marriage of less than 10 years qualifies as a marriage of long duration. California is a community property state, which means the law presumes all property acquired during the marriage is owned equally by both spouses. This is one of the most widely misinterpreted divorce laws in California. First, in marriages of long duration, the court retains jurisdiction over the parties going forward. What effect does a marriage of over 10 years have on alimony in California? In this situation, the spouse earning less income retains the right to be paid alimony for as long as he or she needs, and as long as the paying spouse can pay. Wondering how to get a divorce in California? The law specifically states, “Nothing in this section is intended to limit the court's discretion to order support for a greater or lesser length of time.". Ah…here it is, Family Code 4336. Lifetime alimony is not, however, either required or automatic for long duration marriages. In reality, there is no “Ten Year Rule.” Here are the facts: California law (Family Code Section 4336(a)) says that where a marriage is "of long duration," the court "retains jurisdiction" indefinitely after the divorce is completed, unless the spouses agree otherwise. There are two parts of a divorce case that are impacted by a marriage that is designated a marriage of long duration. Our network attorneys have an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Community Property Laws in California for a 10 Year Marriage. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. However, the courts may declare it a marriage of long duration if they so choose. As of 2010 in California, the average cost of a divorce where the parties were represented by lawyers was approximately $50,000 each. The ONLY thing the Family Code says is that marriages over 10 years is one of "long duration". Imagine the courts award a person from a nine-and-a-half-year marriage alimony for six years. In a less than 10-year marriage in California, the general standard for the appropriate length of time for alimony is one half of the length of the marriage. Now, you are living in California and are filing to get divorced or legally separated. Second, keep in mind that you have to file in a specific county within the state. Whether the parties are married nine or 10 years, the courts will consider the same factors, including each party's contribution to the marriage and household, the abilities of each party to support themselves, the ability of a party to attain financial independence in the future, and a host of other factors. California is one of a few states where you can benefit in alimony payments from staying married 10 years or longer. You are married for 10 years or more. The basic rules for divorced spouses and Social Security say that if an individual was married for at least 10 years and then divorced, they are eligible to … There is no 10-year rule as it applies to alimony for life, people!!! The Mythical 10 Year Rule – California Spousal Support. — Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) August 15, 2020 The issues surrounding long term California marriages and the 10 year rule are many. On MSN Money Liz Pulliam Weston gives us an insightful look at the 10 year rule in divorce, and why so many celebrities call it quits on marriage before their tenth anniversaries. Use of our products and services are governed by our ... That means they must be at least 62 and have at least 40 work credits, which translates to 10 years of full-time work. Get the right guidance with an attorney by your side. For example, if you and your spouse were living in New York during part of your marriage, and you were both working and bought a car there. Privacy Policy. The rate is reduced by 10% for each year of absence. And in such cases, the court retains jurisdiction to modify support indefinitely. The main requirement for a retirement distribution to a spouse is that the couple must have been married 10 years or long while the service member has been on active duty. Duration is something that is negotiated in a California divorce case. In other words, if the court makes a ruling regarding alimony, child support, or child custody, and there is a change in circumstances that merits requesting a modification of the divorce decree, the same judge that originally heard the matter will hear the matter again. What is the process for getting a divorce in California? First, at least one of the two parties to the divorce must have lived in California for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. California Divorce Laws and the 10 Year Rule, Things to Ask for in a Divorce Settlement, Pinkham Law Offices: Divorce and Divorce Mediation, Dishon and Block: Top 10 Pieces of Divorce Advice You Are Going to Need. Teo Spengler earned a J.D. Many people interpret this rule as “you will be guaranteed alimony for life if you hit the 10-year mark in your marriage.” This could not be farther from the truth! If you want to learn more about the 10-year-rule or want to clarify other misconceptions that you may have about California divorce, don't hesitate to contact an attorney at the firm today. Is it a retirement contract for the spouse who receives support? Skip to main content Skip to footer. But what impact does that have on the divorce proceedings of California residents? No need to navigate the legal waters alone, Law for Families is here to help! While 10 years is generally considered the rule for what distinguished a long term marriage, there are plenty of other things to consider. Schiff ( @ PeterSchiff ) August 15, 2020 spousal support and the 10 year rule are many about. Marriage has lasted 10 years or more, the courts apply a different standard to marriages of 10 years out! Generally does n't require an appearance before a judge may award alimony even after the divorce Occurs 10! 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