How Long Do You Have To Pay Alimony After A Divorce?

According to a specialist divorce attorney in Orange County, in a short marriage (under ten years), the answer is usually, at the most, one-half the duration of the marriage. In the long marriage (ten or more years), the answer may be until either spouse’s death, the receiving spouse’s remarriage or further order of the court.

However, these are just general scenarios. The answer may be totally different in short or ling marriages, depending on the case’s individual facts. How long alimony lasts isn’t always a simple answer. Let us look at this issue in more detail.

If your divorce judgment covers alimony duration, that is the 1st place you look

For instance, the typical alimony order states one person pays the other person alimony at a set amount each month until:

  1. Death of either party
  2. Remarriage of the person who receives alimony, or
  3. Further order of the court

In short term marriages, there is usually an end date for alimony. In long-term marriages, it can be lefy open ended or there can even be an end date.

There are numerous different ways a judgment may recite alimony terms. Therefore, those terms can significantly impact how long a person has to pay alimony after a divorce.

So, what is the lesson here? An experienced family law attorney in Orange County should carefully review your divorce judgment. That attorney can then let you know what impact it may have on how long you have to pay alimony.

Difference between short vs. long marriages

You may wonder what we mean by a short-term marriage. Typically, it is a marriage of under ten years. If a marriage is for example only five years in length, it is a short-term marriage.

But what about a marriage that is nine years eleven months?

Is that a short-term marriage even though it got very close to the ten-year mark?

Short answer is, “it depends.” The court has the power to treat a short-term marriage as a long-term marriage. It even has the power to sometimes treat a long-term marriage like a short one.

There is no black-and-white rule on the 10-year topic

There are unusual circumstances involved, if the marriage is 9 years or less, it will be treated as a short-term marriage. A marriage between nine to ten years can sometimes be in that gray area.

A long-term marriage is a marriage that is ten years or longer

Typically, according to Orange County divorce mediator, the court continues to reserve its jurisdiction to order alimony in a long-term marriage without a termination date unless the parties agree otherwise or the court orders otherwise. But, just for the reason that spoused hit a ten-year marriage does not mean the court will not terminate alimony.

How long do you have to pay alimony in a short-term marriage?

We will assume there are no unusual terms in the divorce judgment regarding the alimony. We will also assume the divorce judgment does not have its own termination date for alimony. In such a scenario, a person who had a short-term marriage usually pays alimony after the divorce judgment until approximately half the duration of the marriage.

And if the judgment does not contain an express termination date, that person must go to court and ask the court to terminate alimony.

Don’t assume alimony terminates on its own

The mistake some people make is to assume just for the reason that they have paid alimony for ½ of the duration of a short-term marriage, they can simply stop paying it. But unless the actual divorce judgment terminates alimony at the ½-way mark, the alimony may continue after that time. That is why an attorney must review your judgment to give you advice.

So how long you have to pay alimony after a divorce judgment in a short-term marriage is not something you can assume.

Just for the reason that you hit the one ½ way duration of the marriage mark does not mean alimony automatically ends. In its place, you are supposed to seek the best divorce lawyer in Orange County like Sunita Sood at The Law Offices of Sood and Sood, who will advice you and tell you when the appropriate time is to proceed to court and end alimony!