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The length of a marriage is not determinative of whether that union will end in divorce. While it may seem that many new California marriages succumb to the divorce process, later-in-life divorces also occur and pull apart the lives of individuals who have been bound together for decades. A new marriage and a decades-old marriage may look very different in terms of how the partners in those relationships earn money, raise children and carryout many other factors in their lives. Because those differences exist, the family law courts have different ways of evaluating if and how partners in a failing marriage should receive spousal support.

For example, the length of a marriage is only one factor a court will look at as it decides if it will award alimony. It will also examine the parties’ abilities to earn money, as well as the parties’ general health, wealth and expected standards of living. Based on those and other evaluations a court will decide if and what form of alimony a party should receive.

There are different types of alimony, and each is tailored to meet a different post-marital financial need. In the case of permanent alimony, a person is bound to pay his or her ex-spouse financial support for an indefinite period of time. However, temporary, rehabilitative and reimbursement alimony are all forms of spousal support that have defined ending points based on the needs of the support-receiving spouses.

A person may also receive spousal support in the form of a lump-sum payment, and that payment is often inclusive of or in lieu of a property settlement between the parties. As courts look at many factors in order to decide if alimony should be awarded in a particular divorce, a variety of alimony forms exist in order to accommodate those diverse post-marital needs.

Spouses who desire to learn more about alimony in California should learn more about alimony and its role in a post-divorce relationship. This could help a divorcing couple come to a fair agreement regarding divorce legal issues such as spousal support, helping them to avoid post-divorce issues.