Understanding Termination of Alimony in California

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County spousal support; California Divorce MediatorsTermination of alimony for the spouse paying it means financial freedom. But requests for termination of alimony have to be pleaded in California Family Courts and are only granted after going through evidence and persuasive arguments. Requests by the paying spouse for terminating alimony are very common in divorce cases.

Short term marriages

Termination of alimony in short term marriages is extremely common and the process is quite simple. Generally speaking, the period of paying alimony in a short term marriage is half the length of the marriage. The shorter the marriage, the shorter is the period for which you have to pay alimony. But the exact duration will be determined by the court. The alimony agreement should clearly state the duration and the date of termination of the alimony.

Long term marriages

Termination of alimony in long term marriages can be quite difficult. If the court wishes, it can terminate the payment of alimony if the marriage has lasted for almost 10 years or more. But the spouse receiving the alimony always has the right to contest such a decision. If the court has decided to terminate the alimony after a certain date, the contesting spouse should approach the court before the said date and appeal for a continuation of the alimony.

In marriages that have been for a much longer duration than 10 years, alimony can still be terminated in certain cases. If the court is produced with persuasive arguments and evidences, it can terminate the payment of alimony. You need to prove that your spouse can maintain their lifestyle and standard of living on their own even after you stop paying alimony. It can prove to be quite difficult.

The court will take a close look to determine that the supported spouse can support themselves financially in every possible way. You will need to show that your spouse has gained a significant amount as income through employment of some kind. The court will make a decision based on the nature and extent of employment and not the income of your spouse.

If your spouse has gained a significant amount in inheritance or has obtained a separate estate, alimony will, in most likelihood, be terminated. But again, the court will determine if the estate guarantees that the spouse will have enough financial support without the alimony. Termination of alimony is not that simple and is granted after much consideration.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation