The marital term is calculated as the time between the date of marriage and the date of separation. Marriages lasting less than 10 years are considered to be short-term marriages in the eyes of California law. Permanent alimony is typically paid for no more than half of the length of the short-term marriage.
If the marriage was very short, permanent alimony may be unnecessary. If the couple was married for less than a year, the temporary support provided during the divorce process may be enough in itself to satisfy the half-marriage-long support.
There are no guidelines for spousal support in long-term marriages like shorter ones’ limitations to half of the marriage. The amount and duration are determined on a personalized case-by-case basis. They could even be awarded for an indefinite term. Generally, however, the judge will evaluate the case and award alimony in such a way that the supported spouse could maintain the marital standard of living until they are able to become self-supporting.
When Support May Be Terminated
While a judge may have set an end date on alimony payments, support could still be terminated early. Spousal support could be terminated if:
- Either party dies
- The receiving spouse gets married
- The two push for a modification or termination of support in court