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. There are two parts of a divorce case that are impacted by a marriage that is designated a marriage of long duration. 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. You're in luck. 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. The content is not legal advice. The 10-year-rule is much ado about nothing. 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. The ONLY thing the Family Code says is that marriages over 10 years is one of "long duration". Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were married for more than 10 years before their split in March 2014. Teo Spengler earned a J.D. While 10 years is generally considered the rule for what distinguished a long term marriage, there are plenty of other things to consider. 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. The goal is for the supported spouse to be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. 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. However, the courts may declare it a marriage of long duration if they so choose. 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. is nuts. 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. 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). Retaining jurisdiction means that the court has the ability to continue making decisions about matters between the spouses, and can reevaluate its … What is the process for getting a divorce in California? 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. Duration is something that is negotiated in a California divorce case. 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. Community Property Laws in California for a 10 Year Marriage. 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. 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. Maybe it is 10 years and three months or 20 years. 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. However, this is only a general rule. The law specifically states, “Nothing in this section is intended to limit the … Read More: What Is Family Support Vs. Spousal Support? One form to be prepared is a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage for the judge to sign, thereby making the divorce final. 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. Updated March 29, 2020 . But what impact does that have on the divorce proceedings of California residents? 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. Is it a retirement contract for the spouse who receives support? Divorce is becoming more and more common, and with this rise in divorce comes an inevitable rise in “urban myths” surrounding this process. 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. When the court is determining how long spousal support payments should last, it must apply a different standard to marriages of long duration. As of 2010 in California, the average cost of a divorce where the parties were represented by lawyers was approximately $50,000 each. 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. Let’s find the text of the California Family Code that states anything about 10 years. 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. Get the right guidance with an attorney by your side. 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. As a result, the court will divide marital property equally if spouses later divorce. 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. 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. 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 … California is a community property state, which means the law presumes all property acquired during the marriage is owned equally by both spouses. What effect does a marriage of over 10 years have on alimony in California? The length of the parties' marriage is judged as a preliminary matter from the time of the marriage to the date of separation. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California. Wondering how to get a divorce in California? Our network attorneys have an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. In a nine-and-a-half-year marriage, the court does not retain jurisdiction over the parties. / California Divorce Guide / Spousal Support / Benefits of Being Married 10 Years. 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. 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. California is one of a few states in the US where you can really benefit financially from staying married for 10 years or longer. 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). It's all hoopla over practically nothing. Duration of the marriage is included in the list of factors to be considered. A judge may award alimony even after the divorce is final, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. She holds both an M.A. Section b. 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. The rate is reduced by 10% for each year of absence. 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. from U.C. 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. However, this is only a general rule. This is not, however, true. Attorneys with you, every step of the way. 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. © LegalZoom.com, Inc. All rights reserved. Spousal Support and the 10-Year Rule. For purposes of this article, we are just talking in terms of the general rule. We are not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. Imagine the courts award a person from a nine-and-a-half-year marriage alimony for six years. In part, spousal support is intended to protect an untrained spouse who has been out of the workforce for a significant time, so much so that she cannot readily find lucrative employment. When a marriage has lasted 10 years or more, the courts apply a different standard. Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! Law for Families provides all the legal information that you and your family need. 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. Even when spouses no longer live together they are still legally married at the time of trial. And, in a divorce or legal separation in California, it will be treated as community property. This is a very common misconception about California divorce law. 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. 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. 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 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. How does being married for 10 years or more affect alimony in California? 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. And in such cases, the court retains jurisdiction to modify support indefinitely. On the other hand, a 10-year marriage is, by law, considered a marriage of long duration. 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. This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. 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 … 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. By Elizabeth Stock. California is one of a few states where you can benefit in alimony payments from staying married 10 years or longer. — Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) August 15, 2020 Over the period of six years, based on 2010 estimates, Annette and John would have spent more than $100,000 each. One of the most commonly misunderstood California divorce laws is the 10-year rule. It cannot presume that one-half the length of the marriage is a reasonable period of time for spousal support. Many of the factors involve the ages, assets, needs, earnings and employment opportunities of the respective spouses. First, in marriages of long duration, the court retains jurisdiction over the parties going forward. Spousal Support in Perpetuity, If the Divorce Occurs After 10 Years of Marriage. Under the second basis for awarding spousal support, the ten-year period requirement to be eligible for spousal maintenance is measured from the date of marriage to the date of trial. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Terms of Use and Now, you are living in California and are filing to get divorced or legally separated. California courts are required by law to consider several factors set out in Family Code Section 4320 when awarding spousal support. One of the most troublesome involves the 10-year rule. 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. You are married for 10 years or more. California's famous 10-year rule, however, is widely misquoted and misinterpreted. ... That means they must be at least 62 and have at least 40 work credits, which translates to 10 years of full-time work. There is no 10-year rule as it applies to alimony for life, people!!! Something else does, however, automatically occur if you have been married … 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. 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. Under California’s community property rules, retirement plans — like all assets of the marriage — must be divided in half. One decade does it, in terms of altering your rights to alimony in a divorce. 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. Skip to main content Skip to footer. 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. Lifetime alimony is not, however, either required or automatic for long duration marriages. 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. Ah…here it is, Family Code 4336. Here is a 10 step guide that shows the smart way of doing it. What Is Family Support Vs. Spousal Support? Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images. 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. 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. Privacy Policy. 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. 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. Here are the rules on Social Security and divorce. California is one of a handful of states in which there are special spousal support rules for marriages of 10 years or longer. We're available Mon-Fri 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT and weekends 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT. Process feeling overwhelming? Looking for more great tips to help you get through divorce in California? Any wealthy person who moves into Cal. Second, keep in mind that you have to file in a specific county within the state. Once the six years have passed, the alimony ceases. Otherwise, this payment must be procured from the servicemember, which may be inconvenient or logistically difficult. 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. This is one of the most widely misinterpreted divorce laws in California. You don't need to have celebrated your silver wedding anniversary to have a lengthy marriage in the eyes of California courts. The issues surrounding long term California marriages and the 10 year rule are many. This is a simpler process, which generally doesn't require an appearance before a judge. No need to navigate the legal waters alone, Law for Families is here to help! The Mythical 10 Year Rule – California Spousal Support. As a general rule, a nine-and-a-half-year marriage is not considered a marriage of long duration in the state of California. Such a designation will affect any award of spousal support. 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 … Use of our products and services are governed by our 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. 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. 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.". Alimony ceases Annette and John would have spent more than $ 100,000.... 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