Something else does, however, automatically occur if you have been married … is nuts. What Is Family Support Vs. Spousal Support? Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images. 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. Second, keep in mind that you have to file in a specific county within the state. Generally, each spouse is expected to support himself or herself at a point in the future and spousal support is only to tide over the lesser-earning spouse until that point. However, the courts may look at the history of the couple's time together and may consider long separations when calculating the length of the marriage. 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. Thus, the parties do not have to be married for 10 years on the date the petition is filed or on the date they separated. Law for Families provides all the legal information that you and your family need. 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. Skip to main content Skip to footer. 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. 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. We are not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. 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. Terms of Use and 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. Ah…here it is, Family Code 4336. California is one of a few states in the US where you can really benefit financially from staying married for 10 years or longer. 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. 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. Use of our products and services are governed by our Imagine the courts award a person from a nine-and-a-half-year marriage alimony for six years. You don't need to have celebrated your silver wedding anniversary to have a lengthy marriage in the eyes of California courts. The ONLY thing the Family Code says is that marriages over 10 years is one of "long duration". California is one of a few states where you can benefit in alimony payments from staying married 10 years or longer. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were married for more than 10 years before their split in March 2014. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. No need to navigate the legal waters alone, Law for Families is here to help! 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. Looking for more great tips to help you get through divorce in California? 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. Under California’s community property rules, retirement plans — like all assets of the marriage — must be divided in half. Otherwise, this payment must be procured from the servicemember, which may be inconvenient or logistically difficult. The issues surrounding long term California marriages and the 10 year rule are many. 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. In a nine-and-a-half-year marriage, the court does not retain jurisdiction over the parties. 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. Duration is something that is negotiated in a California divorce case. While 10 years is generally considered the rule for what distinguished a long term marriage, there are plenty of other things to consider. Updated March 29, 2020 . Section b. 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). This is a very common misconception about California divorce law. What is the process for getting a divorce in California? / California Divorce Guide / Spousal Support / Benefits of Being Married 10 Years. Such a designation will affect any award of spousal support. Over the period of six years, based on 2010 estimates, Annette and John would have spent more than $100,000 each. However, this is only a general rule. 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. © LegalZoom.com, Inc. All rights reserved. There are two parts of a divorce case that are impacted by a marriage that is designated a marriage of long duration. She holds both an M.A. 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. Any wealthy person who moves into Cal. The law specifically states, “Nothing in this section is intended to limit the … 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. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. It states, “For the purpose of retaining jurisdiction, there is a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence that a marriage of 10 years or more, from the date of marriage to the date of separation, is a marriage of long … California courts are required by law to consider several factors set out in Family Code Section 4320 when awarding spousal support. California is one of a handful of states in which there are special spousal support rules for marriages of 10 years or longer. Even when spouses no longer live together they are still legally married at the time of trial. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law. For purposes of this article, we are just talking in terms of the general rule. 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. Many of the factors involve the ages, assets, needs, earnings and employment opportunities of the respective spouses. California proposed a .4% annual wealth tax that applies to former residents who already left within the past 10 years, and to current residents for ten years after they leave. 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. Is it a retirement contract for the spouse who receives support? The content is not legal advice. 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. Many people falsely believe that, under a California divorce 10 years rule, permanent spousal support will be ordered if the couple has been married at least 10 years. And, in a divorce or legal separation in California, it will be treated as community property. 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. 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. Our network attorneys have an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. 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. Before hanging onto a bad marriage for a few more years to clinch the supposed alimony benefits of a marriage of long duration, it pays to understand the actual meaning of this concept within the context of California law. Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! The length of the parties' marriage is judged as a preliminary matter from the time of the marriage to the date of separation. 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. One of the most commonly misunderstood California divorce laws is the 10-year rule. Regarding the 10/10 rule: When a Service Member divorces or enters into a legal separation judgment, the former spouse must have at least 10 years of marriage overlapping with 10 years of military service, in order to be eligible to receive direct payments from the military as a ‘property award’ from the family court. It's all hoopla over practically nothing. One decade does it, in terms of altering your rights to alimony in a divorce. Process feeling overwhelming? 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 … You are married for 10 years or more. 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. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. 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. Wondering how to get a divorce in California? from U.C. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California. Retaining jurisdiction means that the court has the ability to continue making decisions about matters between the spouses, and can reevaluate its … 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. Once the six years have passed, the alimony ceases. When a marriage has lasted 10 years or more, the courts apply a different standard. When you choose to divorce after more than 10 years of marriage, there is no automatic rule that the wealthier spouse must forever pay alimony to the less wealthy spouse. As a result, the court will divide marital property equally if spouses later divorce. — Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) August 15, 2020 There is no 10-year rule as it applies to alimony for life, people!!! Divorce is becoming more and more common, and with this rise in divorce comes an inevitable rise in “urban myths” surrounding this process. You're in luck. 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). It cannot presume that one-half the length of the marriage is a reasonable period of time for spousal support. How does being married for 10 years or more affect alimony in California? Many people believe that once a marriage passes that 10-year mark, there are extensive financial benefits to a divorcing spouse who makes less than their partner. This is one of the most widely misinterpreted divorce laws in California. Let’s find the text of the California Family Code that states anything about 10 years. Read More: What Is Family Support Vs. Spousal Support? This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. 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.