IfI havebeen married for under 10 years, amI obligated to pay alimony?

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IfI havebeen married for under 10 years, amI obligated to pay alimony?

Asked on November 2, 2010 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Alimony or "spousal supports" is not mandatory. In fact, courts have very broad discretion to deny spousal support altogether or to limit it in an amount and duration that reflects the ability of both parties to provide for their own needs. Whether or not spousal support is appropriate alimony award (whether to order it and, if so, its terms) is judged by the parties' "circumstances" in reference to the standard of living established during their marriage and their respective needs and abilities to pay. By law, the court is bound to consider 14 factors in making its determination in awarding such support. But so long as these factors are considered, the ultimate decision as to whether such support is appropriate and for how much and for how long rests within the court.

Some of these factors are: age, health, education, how much each spouse earns, the ability of each spouse to earn, needs of the parties and children, obligations and assets of the parties, the standard of living during the marriage and the length of the marriage. The court must also consider if the request is a temporary need prior to the divorce being finalized, or if it a request for permanent support needed beyond the conclusion of the case. There is no set formula for determining spousal support; the judge must consider come up with its own number.


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