What is a Long-Term Marriage?

If you are in the process of considering a divorce, then you will want to determine whether or not you have been in a long-term marriage and whether or not you should wait until you have met these requirements if you are close to achieving them. According to California law, those that are married for over 10 years are considered to be in a long-term marriage and may be able to receive special benefits in the event of a divorce that those in short-term marriages can’t participate in.

In shorter marriages, the courts naturally assume that both parties will be able to become self-sustaining at some point. Usually the courts determine that it will take one-half the length of the marriage for both parties to become self-sustaining. For example, if a couple has been married for 8 years, then the courts will normally give each party 4 years to become a self-sufficient individual. Normally, the woman in the marriage will receive alimony for the four years to help her to pay the rent and afford the expenses of life as she looks for her own job. Yet this is not a hard-fast rule.

If a woman has been a homemaker for the duration of the marriage, then she may be able to receive alimony or spousal support far into the future, even if she has not been married to her husband for 10 years. Also, a wife that has been married to her husband for more than 10 years allegedly will receive a lifetime of spousal support unless she chooses to remarry. While this can sometimes be the case, it is also not a hard fast rule. Instead, it is merely a guideline that most courts work off of. In some cases, neither spouse will receive spousal support in a marriage that has lasted longer than 10 years. Contact an attorney at Cutter & Lax today if you are a San Fernando Valley resident and are curious about how spousal support may be organized in your case.