Spousal support is generally not something the court will award for a lifetime except in rare cases. It is a maintenance payment to help one spouse financially after a divorce when the other spouse is in a better financial situation.
Because of the intention of this type of support, orders may have an end date. There are also a couple of other ways your support payments could end.
The California Courts explain your court order will usually determine when spousal support ends. The court will often base the length of time for the order on the length of time of your marriage.
The general rule is spousal support orders will last for half the time of your marriage. For example, if your marriage lasted 10 years, then your support order could last up to five years.
However, it is important to note the court has a lot of leeways when it comes to spousal support. The judge in your case may feel there are certain circumstances that supersede the general rule. He or she could then order support for a longer or shorter time than half the time of your marriage.
In addition, marriages lasting over 10 years do not follow the general rule. In those cases, the court can order payments with no end date. In those situations, there may be other ways payments will end.
A common reason for ending spousal support is your former spouse getting into another legal relationship. The state considers this a marriage or domestic partnership.
The other way spousal support will end is if you or your former spouse die.
In most cases, spousal support will have an end date, but you may also need to go to court to request an end if you have certain situations.