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Long Term and Short Term Marriages

Spousal Support is generally determined by the length of the marriage. The Family Code is written to reflect the length of the marriage seems to be a factor applicable to both amount and duration. Judges have essentially three alternatives in fixing the duration of a spousal support award. They can make the award payable indefinitely, leaving it to the parties to seek a modification or termination if circumstances change. An indefinite award of spousal support cannot be modified unless a change of circumstances is established. This does not mean simple passage of time is a change of circumstances.

Judges can fix a support award to terminate after a given number of months or years which is most often favored by the paying spouse. Once terminated, spousal support cannot be re-established. If the judge reduces support to zero but retains jurisdiction to raise it in the future, this is not a termination, but instead a reservation of jurisdiction.

When the marriage is less than 10 years it is considered short duration. The statute says that in a marriage over ten years, spousal support must be for an indefinite period. Often we find the judges allow one-half the length of the marriage for support.

If you are facing a divorce from a long term marriage, call a local qualified attorney. At the Law Offices of Richard K. Isles you will be represented by a 20 year attorney with a caring efficient staff. Call today for a free consultation

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