How long do I have to pay spousal support for? 59 Answers as of June 28, 2013

My wife filed for spousal support. We have one child together and she has two other kids which she gets no support from their father.

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Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
The amount and duration of spousal support due a former spouse would be dictated by court order for temporary spousal support or the Judgment of Divorce for spousal support due after the divorce is over.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/14/2012
Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC
Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC | Daniel B. Rubanowitz
In a Divorce (i.e., Dissolution of Marriage) Case, there are many factors that are considered by the Court in calculating the duration, amount and payment obligation of spousal support. In California, "half the length of marriage" is the general rule with regard to the duration obligation of paying spousal support. Every case is different and you should consult with a Family Law Attorney. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/14/2012
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
To determine an answer to this question, one must evaluate your situation by using the 5 factors that establish the amount and duration of support: length of the marriage, age of the parties, health history,earning capacity and standard of living during the marriage.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/14/2012
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
It's up to the judge.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 8/14/2012
Law Offices of Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna PC | Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna
It depends. You can negotiate for Alimony in Gross, which is really a property settlement. It is for a set sum of money (non modifiable) for a set period of time. She cannot ask for more. You cannot ask for less, regardless of the circumstances.

Regular spousal support is modifiable depending upon the terms and the circumstances. It can be a for a set amount of money for a set amount of years, but she can sue for more, or that it be extended. You can ask of less and you can request the length of time that you pay it be shortened.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/14/2012
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    As long as you are ordered to pay.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Blough Law Office | Janis L. Blough
    The duration of spousal support depends on a number of factors, only one of which you mention: Your mutual child.

    The length of your marriage, the disparity in your incomes, your relative ability to earn income (i.e., you education and experience, etc.), other assets each party receives, the amount of child support and child care you pay for your child and whether either party was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage are among the factors taken into consideration. Good Luck!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    The court is required to evaluate the need for spousal support against a number of factors. Those factors help the court decide on the amount of spousal support as well as the duration. It can be ordered for the rest of your life or hers. See a family lawyer now. You need assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
    Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
    The court would have to determine that your wife needs spousal support before the court would order you to pay it and the court order would indicate the length of time that the spousal support would have to be paid. Child support is a different issue. Child support is usually based upon the earnings of each of the parents of the child or children and us payable until the child reaches the age of 18 years and possibly beyond that age if the child has not graduated from high school and is still attending high school. You would not be responsible for support of children that you did not father unless you have adopted those children. If your wife has the ability to work if she gets the training she needs for employment the court might order rehabilitative spousal support which would cease when she receives the necessary training to become employed. Each case is based on the facts before the court in that case. There is no standard rule in these cases.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Spousal support in Texas is for a maximum of 3 years or the time necessary to get her to the position where she can meet her own reasonable minimum needs. The one caveat is you can agree (contractually) to a longer period of time. If she has file for divorce and is actually seeking spousal support, HIRE A LAWYER! Do not go into court on your own with a Spousal Support claim looming. You will pay more in support than your lawyer will cost. This is an absolute no brainer.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Cook & Cook Law Firm, PLLC (SanAntonioDefenders)
    Cook & Cook Law Firm, PLLC (SanAntonioDefenders) | Megan V. Cook
    Spousal support in Texas cannot be ordered for any longer than 3 years. If it Is not directly ordered by a court, then you will not pay it at all.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Slotnick & Schwartz
    Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
    Spousal support has nothing to do with child support in this context. Many factors are to be considered in New Jersey such as length of marriage. More information is needed. An attorney should be consulted.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    If she is granted spousal support, the time period will in the divorce judgment based on her circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Gardner Law Firm, PLC | Brandon Gardner
    The order/judgment awarding spousal support will tell you how long you have to pay and in what denomination. It will also tell you whether it can be modified.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
    Do you mean spousal support or child support? As you talk about children, it sounds like you mean child support. That must be paid until the child emancipates, which is when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later. If you mean spousal support, that depends on a number of statutory factors, which can be found in the spousal support report on my website.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    There are two types of spousal support. Interim spousal support can last up to 6 months after the date of divorce. Permanent spousal support lasts until death, remarriage or a judge determines she is living with another in the same state as married couples.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Robert J. Merlin, P.A.
    Robert J. Merlin, P.A. | Robert J. Merlin
    Spousal support is a function of a number of criteria. Look at Florida Statutes Section 61.08. Your wife must first have a financial need and you must have the ability to pay.

    The length of your marriage is critical to the number of years of support that a judge can award.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    As long as the order states. Usually that's until the child is 18 or graduates from high school, but in some circumstances it can be longer. You don't have to support the other children if you get divorced.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    Spousal support is for the spouse, child support is for YOUR children. I do not know what your state laws are or what you agreed to.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    You will have to pay alimony for as long as you agree or for as long as the judge orders.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    I do not believe you should have to pay any unless she is disabled from working.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Do you mean spousal support, alimony or child support?
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    Not enough information to answer the question. The amount and duration of spousal support turns on a number of factors. You have hit on a couple, but missed several of the more important.

    First, who makes how much? For you to pay her support you must earn more, relative to your needs, than does she relative to hers. Second for how long were you married.? The longer you were married, in general, the longer the order for support. Harry Roth
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Goncalves Law Office | Humberta Goncalves-Babbitt
    The length of spousal support is determined by the court order which awarded spousal support.

    There are certain conditions that can terminate spousal support prior to the date in the court order, such as if your ex has remarried.

    In your question you are referring to the fact that there are children involved, several of which have another father who is not paying child support. Therefore, are you really asking about spousal support or child support for your child?

    If you are referring to child support then the short answer is that in RI your obligation continues until the child turns 18 or 19 if still in high school. However, there are a number of other factors that may need to be considered, such as any disability of the child, and you really should consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    Under Washington state law, there is no formula for amount or duration. Pursuant to statute [RCW 26.09.090], the court considers the following factors: i. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance and that party's ability to meet his or her needs independently; ii. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find employment appropriate to his or her skill, interest, style of life, and other attendant circumstances; iii. The standard of living established during the marriage; iv. The length of marriage; v. the age, physical and emotional condition, and the financial obligations of the spouse seeking maintenance; and vi. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs and financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    This question is a lot more complex than it may at first appear. It depends on a lot of factors such as the length of the marriage, the ability of each party to have gainful employment, the standard of living during marriage, and several other factors. I strongly suggest you have an in person consultation with an attorney in your county to get a more specific answer. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    For as long as the support order states.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    Are you talking about child support or alimony? And if she is your wife she had to fie for a divorce first, and as part of that action she can ask for alimony and/or child support. No spouse can just file for support without and underlining action first.

    Anyway child support until the child is legally emancipated, as far as alimony, that's harder to get and is not the norm so without more info I can't answer that. Also, you are not liable for the other children.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    The amount of time for paying spousal support depends upon the length of the marriage. In short term marriages, usually defined as 5 years or less, support usually lasts only during the pendancy of the dissolution action.

    When the duration is longer the rule of thumb is one half of the length of the marriage until you reach long term relationships, ie 20 years or more. In such relationships there is no ending date other than death or remarriage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    Depends on length of marriage. Family code 4320.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    The duration of Spousal Support depends on the duration of the marriage until date of separation. Generally, the line between short-term and long-term marriage is at or about ten years of marriage. In short-term marriages, the Court typically awards Spousal Support for 1/2 the duration of the marriage. In long-term marriages, the Court typically awards Spousal Support until the remarriage of the payee, the death of either party, or until further court order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office
    Law Office | Timothy J. Lopez
    It depends on the length of the marriage and the relative incomes of you and the ex, along with about 10th other factors depending on the length and income factors.!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    As long as the Judge says.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
    There is no set time or amount. There is also no automatic right to spousal support. It is dependent upon each case. Many factors are considered in determining whether or not to eve grant support, let alone the amount. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    As long as the court order says.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    A judge will decide how long you must pay spousal support, or even whether you must pay spousal support. Your attorney may be able to work out a compromise with your ex's lawyer. If not, a judge will make that decision for you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    The very general rule is 1/2 the length of the marriage, but the actual time will depend on your unique set of factual circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
    The general rule was 1/2 the length of the marriage unless the marriage was a long term marriage which was anything over 10 years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    ADELMAN & SEIDE, LLP
    ADELMAN & SEIDE, LLP | GEORGE N. SEIDE
    Spousal support for a marriage under ten years in length may generally "not" be for longer than half the length of the marriage. For marriages of ten years or longer, it may be up to the life of the recipient, or remarriage. That would depend on a very long marriage, never had the spouse worked and has no job skills. Lots of variables, but think half the length of the marriage as a rule of thumb. This advice does not establish an attorney client relationship, which may only be established through a written agreement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Attorney at Law | John P. Rivers
    The length of time and the amount of alimony that you must pay to your ex-wife is determined by the terms and conditions stated in your divorce decree.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Child support usually lasts until the children reach the age of 18.. slightly longer if they state in school Spousal support or alimony is different. Its equitable and not always granted so it totally depends upon how long you were married, your disparity in incomes, etc. Many times it is only 5 or 10 years.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    The court order controls how long.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    There is no definitive answer. Whether spousal support will be awarded and how much will depend on how long you were married to your spouse, the disparity in income and whether your spouse sacrificed her career and earnings to raise the children.

    Spousal support can last as long as death or remarriage or be as short as one year, if it is awarded. If you are seeking private counsel for the divorce, we provide free consultations, affordable payment plans and walk-in appointments are welcome.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Marca Tanner Attorney at Law | Marca Tanner
    First off, spousal support is NOT child support. Child support is determined based on state statutes, and is determined by plugging incomes into a calculator. You can only deviate from the state's child support amount if you've got a good reason and the court endorses it.

    Spousal support is alimony. It's based on different factorswhat the payee needs, what the payor can afford, lifestyle during the marriage, etc. It is not always awarded, and there is no set calculation to determine how much. Statutes regarding alimony are found at Utah Code Annotated 30-3-5(8) [an exception to the factors listed in the statute is the fault sectionthe court cannot consider fault of either party in making an alimony decision because the Utah Appellate Court came out in a case in 2009 and said so.] In any event, alimony cannot be ordered for a longer time period than the marriage lasted.

    For example, if you were married 5 years, you cannot be ordered to pay for more than 5 years. Also, marriages that lasted 5 years or less are less likely to get alimony awarded for the entire time than a marriage that lasted more than 10 years (10+ years is considered a long-term marriage.)
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    There is no simple rule. The duration of spousal support following dissolution of the marriage is a matter for the judge's discretion if you and your wife cannot agree on a reasonable period of time needed for her to become self-sufficient.

    There are many different factors that must be considered in making that decision, so you should consult an attorney who can assist you in identifying the most significant facts that would probably influence what a judge would do.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If your marriage is less than 10 years long, you pay for half the length of the marriage. If the marriage was over 10 years, you can end up paying until the remarriage of the supported spouse, death of either one of you, or further court order. This means you can end up paying for a long time since there is no automatic end date if one of the conditions above does not happen.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You will pay support for your child, and not her children (unless you adopted them).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Any analysis of spousal support would require a full review of facts including length of marriage, health of the parties and financial information. You must consult with legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    It depends on a number of factors including how much you each make and how long you were married.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Your question is a mix of two different issues. Spousal support is related to the right of one spouse to receive support from the other for his/her own benefit. Child support is for the children. It is not possible to determine in the abstract how long spousal support is to be paid for, but child support remains an obligation for the duration of the child's minority.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Gregory C. Graf
    Gregory C. Graf | Gregory C. Graf
    Unless you reach an agreement with your spouse, maintenance in Colorado is discretionary with the Court. The factors include the length of the marriage, how much money you make, how much money your spouse makes and the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage. Child support is a completely different matter. It is based on a formula that considers gross income and the number of overnights with each parent plus health insurance and daycare costs.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    That depends on the length of your marriage. If it is over 10 years support can last for ever. Otherwise, spousal support is to allow her to set up a new living arrangement. As a rule of thumb that may be about 1/3rd the length of the marriage, but it can be longer or shorter depending on the circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Spousal support would have nothing to do with whether she receives child support for her other children. It's based on whether she has the ability to meet her reasonable needs, the length of the marriage, and many other factors that are set forth in the statute (ARS 25-319). I recommend you speak with an attorney to discuss this matter in greater detail so you can have a better idea of what to expect.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/10/2012
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