The "Ten Year Rule": Myth or Fact?

Many California residents have been told of a "ten year rule" which governs alimony payments. According to this rule, divorcees will receive alimony permanently if they have been married for ten years when they separate. In reality, there is no ten year rule in the state. The California Family Law Code mandates that when marriage is of a "long duration" then the court can retain jurisdiction indefinitely when the divorce is completed.

This means that he court will have the ability to continue making decisions about matters concerning the spouse sand can evaluate old orders and modify them if the facts justify a change. Any marriage that is longer than ten years in automatically considered to be one of a "long duration" which is why the mythical ten year rule has been discussed in many divorce cases.

Interestingly enough, the court may mandate continued jurisdiction in a marriage that didn't last ten years as well. There is not official mandate that determines that only marriages that have lasted more than ten years qualify. Even in lengthier marriages, the court considers both spouses earning capacities and ability to maintain that income before coming to a decision.

If both spouses are self-sustaining, the court may decide to forego their ability to award alimony. You can talk to an attorney at the firm about this today if you want to learn more. With the right attorney on your side, you will be able to determine whether or not you should wait to file for divorce or if this will not make a difference in the alimony and child support that may be ordered. The courts evaluate more than just how long a couple has been together when determining alimony. Court authorities also look at the extent to which the parties contributed to the marriage and their standard of living. Call Claery & Hammond today to learn more!