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Understanding Permanent Spousal Support

In cases involving a long-term marriage, the court may grant permanent spousal support. The possibility of a permanent order raises the stakes for your alimony discussion. When making a request, you are asking the court for crucial financial security. When challenging a request, the hope is that you will avoid what could be a cumbersome financial burden.

At the Law Offices of James V. Sansone, we work vigorously to protect your financial interests. With over a decade of experience, you can trust that our lawyer has not only the determination but also the skills necessary to advocate effectively on your behalf. We represent clients in Sonoma County and throughout the surrounding areas.

When is Permanent Alimony Granted? Is it Really Permanent?

A permanent order may be issued in situations involving a long-term marriage. The popular belief or definition of "long term" tends to be 10 years or more, but California law does not define it as such.

Judges in family court have the discretion to grant permanent support for marriages less than 10 years when circumstances make it appropriate. Conversely, permanent support is not automatic in a marriage lasting a decade or longer. The court will consider duration one of the many factors when making an award.

The use of the word "permanent" gives the issue a sense of finality. The use of the word refers to the lifelong nature of the payment schedule, not the order itself. It may be increased, reduced or eliminated under certain circumstances such as job loss or retirement, but the party that is ordered to pay support must seek a modification of the divorce order.

As with any domestic order, modifying a support order is difficult. You must establish that there has been a substantial change in circumstances from when the court issued the original order. The best thing you can do is get it right the first time.

Talk to Our Attorney About Your Options

Protect your rights. If you or your spouse has made a spousal support claim in a divorce proceeding, contact the Law Offices of James V. Sansone. For assistance, call our office in Santa Rosa at 707-623-1875, Mendocino County at 707-234-4054 or Lake County at 707-993-4068. You can also send us an email.