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Alimony, also called spousal support, is the payment of financial support from one individual to another after the end of their marriage. In California a husband or wife can be obligated to a former spouse under a variety of forms of alimony. One such form of alimony is permanent alimony, and as its name implies it can be an obligation that lasts for a long period of time.

A court order for permanent alimony can last indefinitely. It can, however, be terminated if one of several events occurs. Often permanent alimony will cease when a receiving spouse remarries. It also ends with a receiving spouse passes away.

Many factors can influence whether a court orders permanent alimony. If a couple has been married for many years and one of the spouses has lost his or her ability to enter the workforce to earn his or her own living, a court may provide that individual with permanent assistance from the other party to the divorce. A family law attorney can help a person evaluate the factors that courts consider when they make alimony awards and if they may support a request for such financial assistance.

Alimony can look very different depending on the individual’s subject to the support order as well as the type of alimony that the court awards. Permanent alimony can last a lifetime; alimony awards that are classified as temporary support or rehabilitative support can endure for much shorter periods of time. Since awards of alimony are made based on the facts of particular divorce cases, readers of this blog should not assume that their alimony requests will be handle the same as others. The outcomes of family law matters cannot be predicted and readers of this blog are encouraged to seek out their own legal guidance.