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Q: Why should I have to pay spousal support if the other party is working full-time?

A: Spousal support is based on 14 different factors, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, disparity in income, among others. If you significantly out earn your spouse, it’s highly likely that the Court will find that some spousal support is appropriate.

Q: How long do I have to pay support for?

A: If your marriage is under 10 years, a good rule of thumb is to expect to pay support for one-half the length of the marriage. Marriages over 10 years in length are considered to be long term marriages, and chances are that there will be no automatic termination of spousal support after a certain period of time.

Q: My spouse told me that if I divorce her, the wife always gets alimony from the husband and I will be paying her. Is that true?

A: No. There are two types of alimony (which is called spousal support in California), “temporary” and “permanent.” These are legal terms, which means that the legal definitions are different from the everyday definition of these words. Temporary support is better described as “pre-divorce judgment support,” meaning support during the divorce proceedings. Permanent support means support after the divorce is finalized. Temporary support is based primarily on each party’s respective income. Permanent support is based on a number of different factors. In either case, there is no automatic award of spousal support.

Q: My spouse told me that if I divorce her, I will be paying her alimony forever. Is that true?

A: Permanent spousal support” does not mean forever and always. It simply means the amount of spousal support ordered after the divorce judgment is entered. The length of time a person needs to pay his or her spouse spousal support depends on a number of factors, including the length of marriage.

Q: My spouse told me that if I divorce him, I will lose my ability to claim spousal support because me asking for a divorce shows I don’t need him. Is this right?

A: Asking for a divorce does not mean you don’t need your spouse. All it means is that you no longer want to be married to him. Spousal support is always an issue that is brought up during divorce proceedings. That does not mean that you will always obtain support, but it does mean that the issue must be addressed.

Q: My spouse cheated on me, can I really end up paying him support?

A: Although spousal support is dependent on many different factors, the reason for the divorce is not one of those factors, unless there has been domestic violence. For more information read: What Effect Does Cheating have on My Divorce?

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