When the court is determining how long spousal support payments should last, it must apply a different standard to marriages of long duration. However, this is only a general rule. Many people believe that once a marriage passes that 10-year mark, there are extensive financial benefits to a divorcing spouse who makes less than their partner. Under the USFSPA, the 10/10 rule allows eligible former spouses of servicemembers to receive their court-ordered portion of the servicemember's retired pay directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). from U.C. In other words, if the court makes a ruling regarding alimony, child support, or child custody, and there is a change in circumstances that merits requesting a modification of the divorce decree, the same judge that originally heard the matter will hear the matter again. In reality, there is no “Ten Year Rule.” Here are the facts: California law (Family Code Section 4336(a)) says that where a marriage is "of long duration," the court "retains jurisdiction" indefinitely after the divorce is completed, unless the spouses agree otherwise. is nuts. We're available Mon-Fri 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT and weekends 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT. It states, “For the purpose of retaining jurisdiction, there is a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence that a marriage of 10 years or more, from the date of marriage to the date of separation, is a marriage of long … Absent evidence to the contrary, the court must presume that a marriage of 10 years or more is a marriage of long duration; it may also find that a marriage of less than 10 years qualifies as a marriage of long duration. First, in marriages of long duration, the court retains jurisdiction over the parties going forward. Updated March 29, 2020 . The rate is reduced by 10% for each year of absence. Let’s find the text of the California Family Code that states anything about 10 years. Except in marriages of a long duration, this time period is generally one-half the length of the marriage; however, the court can assign spousal support for a longer or shorter period of time. ... That means they must be at least 62 and have at least 40 work credits, which translates to 10 years of full-time work. What Is Family Support Vs. Spousal Support? Many people falsely believe that, under a California divorce 10 years rule, permanent spousal support will be ordered if the couple has been married at least 10 years. Under California’s community property rules, retirement plans — like all assets of the marriage — must be divided in half. Under the second basis for awarding spousal support, the ten-year period requirement to be eligible for spousal maintenance is measured from the date of marriage to the date of trial. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law. The ONLY thing the Family Code says is that marriages over 10 years is one of "long duration". California is one of a few states in the US where you can really benefit financially from staying married for 10 years or longer. She holds both an M.A. Under California Family Code Section 4336, a divorce court does not automatically lose jurisdiction after dissolving a marriage of long duration; therefore, it may continue to amend its orders over time. The law specifically states, “Nothing in this section is intended to limit the … Looking for more great tips to help you get through divorce in California? We are not a law firm, or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. As a result, the court will divide marital property equally if spouses later divorce. This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. However, the courts may declare it a marriage of long duration if they so choose. For example, if you and your spouse were living in New York during part of your marriage, and you were both working and bought a car there. How does being married for 10 years or more affect alimony in California? This is not, however, true. California proposed a .4% annual wealth tax that applies to former residents who already left within the past 10 years, and to current residents for ten years after they leave. It's all hoopla over practically nothing. Teo Spengler earned a J.D. The 10-Year Rule, however, simply requires for direct payment from DFAS that the parties were married at least 10 years during which the military spouse served at least 10 years. Divorce is becoming more and more common, and with this rise in divorce comes an inevitable rise in “urban myths” surrounding this process. In a nine-and-a-half-year marriage, the court does not retain jurisdiction over the parties. But what impact does that have on the divorce proceedings of California residents? Attorneys with you, every step of the way. Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images. There are two parts of a divorce case that are impacted by a marriage that is designated a marriage of long duration. And in such cases, the court retains jurisdiction to modify support indefinitely. Before hanging onto a bad marriage for a few more years to clinch the supposed alimony benefits of a marriage of long duration, it pays to understand the actual meaning of this concept within the context of California law. California courts are required by law to consider several factors set out in Family Code Section 4320 when awarding spousal support. When you choose to divorce after more than 10 years of marriage, there is no automatic rule that the wealthier spouse must forever pay alimony to the less wealthy spouse. Section b. When a marriage has lasted 10 years or more, the courts apply a different standard. A judge may award alimony even after the divorce is final, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Now, you are living in California and are filing to get divorced or legally separated. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. And, in a divorce or legal separation in California, it will be treated as community property. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were married for more than 10 years before their split in March 2014. No need to navigate the legal waters alone, Law for Families is here to help! On the other hand, a 10-year marriage is, by law, considered a marriage of long duration. Absent evidence to the contrary, the court must presume that a marriage of 10 years or more is a marriage of long duration; it may also find that a marriage of less than 10 years qualifies as a marriage of long … If you have been married for less than five years, have no children, don't own real estate, and have relatively limited property and debts, you may qualify for a summary dissolution. Community Property Laws in California for a 10 Year Marriage. You are married for 10 years or more. However, for a couple married 10 years or more, if the court awards six years of alimony, and then circumstances change, the parties can return to court to request alimony for a longer period of time. Such a designation will affect any award of spousal support. One of the most troublesome involves the 10-year rule. Under California Family Code Section 4336, a divorce court does not automatically lose jurisdiction after dissolving a marriage of long duration; therefore, it may continue to amend its orders over time. Otherwise, this payment must be procured from the servicemember, which may be inconvenient or logistically difficult. Privacy Policy. This amount is on the low end for a contested divorce in Orange County, and it does not include the legal fees for an appeal. Thus, the parties do not have to be married for 10 years on the date the petition is filed or on the date they separated. The basic rules for divorced spouses and Social Security say that if an individual was married for at least 10 years and then divorced, they are eligible to … It cannot presume that one-half the length of the marriage is a reasonable period of time for spousal support. On MSN Money Liz Pulliam Weston gives us an insightful look at the 10 year rule in divorce, and why so many celebrities call it quits on marriage before their tenth anniversaries. California law uses the term "spousal support," also known as alimony, to describe payments that one divorcing spouse is ordered to pay the other to maintain the lesser-earning spouse at the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. Many of the factors involve the ages, assets, needs, earnings and employment opportunities of the respective spouses. Ah…here it is, Family Code 4336. So generally speaking, a person divorcing after nine-and-a-half years of marriage is presumed entitled to four years and three months of alimony. — Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) August 15, 2020 In other words, eligibility under the 10/10 Rule is measured from the date of marriage until the date the parties are divorced, not until the date the parties separate. Even when spouses no longer live together they are still legally married at the time of trial. For purposes of determining spousal support during divorce, Riverside courts will generally divide marriages into two types: short-term (less than 10 years) and long term (10 years or more). Wondering how to get a divorce in California? Spousal Support in Perpetuity, If the Divorce Occurs After 10 Years of Marriage. Any wealthy person who moves into Cal. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California. The length of the parties' marriage is judged as a preliminary matter from the time of the marriage to the date of separation. If you earn less than your spouse, and you have been married for at least ten years, you have the right to be paid alimony for as long as it is needed and for as long as your spouse can pay. So generally speaking, a person divorcing after nine-and-a-half years of marriage is presumed entitled to four years and three months of alimony. Our network attorneys have an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. California is a community property state, which means the law presumes all property acquired during the marriage is owned equally by both spouses. One form to be prepared is a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage for the judge to sign, thereby making the divorce final. Process feeling overwhelming? / California Divorce Guide / Spousal Support / Benefits of Being Married 10 Years. Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter! As a general rule, a nine-and-a-half-year marriage is not considered a marriage of long duration in the state of California. Imagine the courts award a person from a nine-and-a-half-year marriage alimony for six years. In a less than 10-year marriage in California, the general standard for the appropriate length of time for alimony is one half of the length of the marriage. One of the most commonly misunderstood California divorce laws is the 10-year rule. The main requirement for a retirement distribution to a spouse is that the couple must have been married 10 years or long while the service member has been on active duty. Regarding the 10/10 rule: When a Service Member divorces or enters into a legal separation judgment, the former spouse must have at least 10 years of marriage overlapping with 10 years of military service, in order to be eligible to receive direct payments from the military as a ‘property award’ from the family court. What is the process for getting a divorce in California? Common myths about divorce include the idea that fathers never gain custody of their children or that only fathers are required to pay child support. The law specifically states, “Nothing in this section is intended to limit the court's discretion to order support for a greater or lesser length of time.". As of 2010 in California, the average cost of a divorce where the parties were represented by lawyers was approximately $50,000 each. Lifetime alimony is not, however, either required or automatic for long duration marriages. Read More: What Is Family Support Vs. Spousal Support? By Elizabeth Stock. You don't need to have celebrated your silver wedding anniversary to have a lengthy marriage in the eyes of California courts. Skip to main content Skip to footer. Duration of the marriage is included in the list of factors to be considered. The purpose of spousal support (or alimony) is to minimize the economic impact of the divorce on the spouse who was not the couple’s primary income earner. In a less than 10-year marriage in California, the general standard for the appropriate length of time for alimony is one half of the length of the marriage. Spousal Support and the 10-Year Rule. The Mythical 10 Year Rule – California Spousal Support. California Divorce Laws and the 10 Year Rule, Things to Ask for in a Divorce Settlement, Pinkham Law Offices: Divorce and Divorce Mediation, Dishon and Block: Top 10 Pieces of Divorce Advice You Are Going to Need. In this situation, the spouse earning less income retains the right to be paid alimony for as long as he or she needs, and as long as the paying spouse can pay. Use of our products and services are governed by our Once the six years have passed, the alimony ceases. Official California Legislative Information: Family Code Section 4330-4339, Official California Legislative Information: Family Code Section 4320-4326, Pinkham Law Offices: Divorce and Divorce Mediation, Dishon and Block: Top 10 Pieces of Divorce Advice You Are Going to Need. However, the courts may look at the history of the couple's time together and may consider long separations when calculating the length of the marriage. The content is not legal advice. This is a simpler process, which generally doesn't require an appearance before a judge. What effect does a marriage of over 10 years have on alimony in California? Here is a 10 step guide that shows the smart way of doing it. California is one of a few states where you can benefit in alimony payments from staying married 10 years or longer. The court may order a lesser or greater period of support after evaluating the factors set forth in the Family Code and considering the circumstances of the parties; it may even decide that the lesser-earning spouse in a marriage of long duration will never be able to support himself or herself and requires support for life. California is one of a handful of states in which there are special spousal support rules for marriages of 10 years or longer. Maybe it is 10 years and three months or 20 years. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. First, at least one of the two parties to the divorce must have lived in California for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. Duration is something that is negotiated in a California divorce case. There is no 10-year rule as it applies to alimony for life, people!!! Berkeley's Boalt Hall. Law for Families provides all the legal information that you and your family need. Terms of Use and Get the right guidance with an attorney by your side. You're in luck. Whether the parties are married nine or 10 years, the courts will consider the same factors, including each party's contribution to the marriage and household, the abilities of each party to support themselves, the ability of a party to attain financial independence in the future, and a host of other factors. Something else does, however, automatically occur if you have been married … In part, spousal support is intended to protect an untrained spouse who has been out of the workforce for a significant time, so much so that she cannot readily find lucrative employment. Often, the spouse who brings in less income has the right to be paid for as long as he or she needs, and as long as the other spouse can afford it. For purposes of this article, we are just talking in terms of the general rule. Retaining jurisdiction means that the court has the ability to continue making decisions about matters between the spouses, and can reevaluate its … For 401(k) and other pension plans, this means that the non-participant spouse shall receive 50 percent of the value of the retirement plan accrued during the length of the marriage. The 10-year-rule is much ado about nothing. While the above statement is partially correct as some states consider a marriage of 10 years or more a long-term marriage, divorce after 10 years in California does not mean an ex-spouse will automatically receive permanent spousal support. Many people interpret this rule as “you will be guaranteed alimony for life if you hit the 10-year mark in your marriage.” This could not be farther from the truth! The goal is for the supported spouse to be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Over the period of six years, based on 2010 estimates, Annette and John would have spent more than $100,000 each. However, this is only a general rule. California's famous 10-year rule, however, is widely misquoted and misinterpreted. This is one of the most widely misinterpreted divorce laws in California. © LegalZoom.com, Inc. All rights reserved. One decade does it, in terms of altering your rights to alimony in a divorce. For example, if a couple married Jan. 1, 2009, and filed for separation Jan. 1, 2019, but didn't live together between 2014 and 2016, courts may determine this is not a marriage of long duration, thus the court can choose not to retain jurisdiction. Second, keep in mind that you have to file in a specific county within the state. To be eligible to file in any county in California, at least one of the spouses must have lived in that county for three months before filing for divorce. This is a very common misconception about California divorce law. Is it a retirement contract for the spouse who receives support? While 10 years is generally considered the rule for what distinguished a long term marriage, there are plenty of other things to consider. Here are the rules on Social Security and divorce. In reality, there is no “Ten Year Rule.” Here are the facts: California law (Family Code Section 4336(a)) says that where a marriage is “of long duration,” the court “retains jurisdiction” indefinitely after the divorce is completed, unless the spouses agree otherwise. The issues surrounding long term California marriages and the 10 year rule are many. Generally, each spouse is expected to support himself or herself at a point in the future and spousal support is only to tide over the lesser-earning spouse until that point. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. If you want to learn more about the 10-year-rule or want to clarify other misconceptions that you may have about California divorce, don't hesitate to contact an attorney at the firm today. By our terms of altering your divorce california 10 year rule to alimony in California, it must apply a different standard award... 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