As far as divorce topics go, discussions involving alimony are usually rife with half-truths, exaggerations, and outright myths. As is often the case, people enjoy sharing advice or guidance, even in the legal sphere and you may routinely hear caveats or ominous warnings regarding the potential of divorce and alimony.
One of the most common warnings involves the idea of the “10 year rule.” As many friends and relatives may claim, this rule binds you to support the ex with alimony on a permanent basis as long as you’ve been married for longer than ten years. Is this actually true, however? Let’s take a deeper look at how the “10 year rule” actually works in CA.
Breaking Down the “10 Year Rule”
There is a small kernel of truth to the idea that you’ll be on the hook for alimony for life once your marriage goes over the 10 year milestone. Like with most myths however, the popular interpretation isn’t really true for every marriage.
The concept of a 10 year rule comes from California Family Code § 4336(a). In short, this piece of family law asserts that for any marriage that has lasted for 10 years or more, the CA family law courts have full authority/jurisdiction to make a ruling on alimony. In other words, this means the courts can step in and offer their guidance for marriages of long duration.
The key fact to consider is that the court does not automatically grant alimony for life in these cases. Furthermore, they may not even need to step in and assert their jurisdiction if/when exes are able to work out an arrangement on their own.
Factors Which Impact Spousal Support on a Case by Case Basis
Even in marriages that have lasted for over 10 years, the courts will rarely grant alimony for life. In truth, their final decision is based on a variety of factors specific to each and every case. These include things such as the length of the marriage, the financial situation and earning potential for both parties, the outcome of any asset or debt division, the standard of living that became the norm during the marriage, and more.
Consult with Our Trusted CA Divorce Attorneys Today
As you can see, alimony is not a clear cut concept and the “10 year rule” is just one related factor at best. The best way to have your specific questions addressed is to consult with a dedicated family law attorney, someone who can thoroughly examine your specific situation and offer guidance based on proven legal expertise.
If you have any questions about any matter relating to an upcoming divorce in CA, or family law in general, we invite you to give us a call at your earliest convenience. Reach us at the Law Offices of James P. White today by giving us a call at 925-271-0999.