Myths are widely-held beliefs that are actually incorrect. Even California divorces face a few myths, especially about spousal support. Fortunately, those myths are easy to debunk using California divorce laws.
Myth #1 – All Women Receive Spousal Support
This belief is false. According to California law, the court may consider the following factors when deciding whether either party will receive spousal support:
- Each party’s ability to earn a living.
- Whether one party helped the other party with education, training, career opportunities, and obtaining licenses necessary for employment.
- If the supporting party makes enough money to pay spousal support.
- The standard of living each party enjoyed during the marriage.
- Each party’s obligations and assets, including their separate property.
- How long the marriage lasted.
- Whether the supported spouse can work without hurting the couple’s dependent children.
- The parties’ age and health.
- Whether the couple has a history of domestic violence, including actions taken against their children.
- Any tax consequences the parties may face.
- Whether the supported party can eventually become self-supporting.
- Whether one party has a criminal conviction for abuse against the other.
The courts may decide not to give spousal support to a woman based on the factors listed above.
Myth #2 – Only Women Can Receive Spousal Support
Also easily debunked. California law does not state that women can receive support under the circumstances listed above. Instead, it refers to the parties to the divorce.
For example, it is uncommon for wives who earn more than their husbands to receive support payments. In fact, they may be ordered to pay spousal support to their ex-husbands if the conditions are right.
Myth #3 – Marriages of Over 10 Years Guarantee Spousal Support
This is a common misunderstanding. California law does mention marriages of long duration, which means marriages of 10 years or more.
However, the law states that the court “retains jurisdiction” indefinitely for marriages that meet the long duration test. Whether a party receives spousal support or not is still determined by the court’s consideration of the factors listed in Myth #1 above.
Learn More About Your California Spousal Support Options
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce proceedings, including spousal support. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We maintain offices in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.