A number of you have probably come across various "legal" articles discussing a ten year "Rule" in the area of divorce.  I have also read these articles and am astounded at the misinformation contained in them.  First and foremost, marriage duration only impacts spousal support.  You don't get a pot of gold when you hit ten years!  Your property rights don't automatically change nor does your ability to go after your spouse's separate property estate.  
          Furthermore, in regards to spousal support, marriage duration does NOT automatically provide more spousal support.  Discretion is still very much involved. California Family Code section 4336 (b), the section governing the 10 year duration subject, clearly indicates that the trial court has discretion when characterizing the length of a marriage. 
           When a marriage is deemed one of "long duration", a court cannot extinguish jurisdiction at the time of trial unless it makes an explicit finding that the support recipient is 100 % self supporting.  (maintaining jurisdiction means that the court can later {post trial or judgment} render further orders regarding spousal support.) If a party is receiving support, that finding is usually not made.
            Lastly, and probably most importantly, the amount of support ordered is not governed by Family Code Section 4336 but instead by section 4320.  Section 4320 provides more than ten (10) different factors that the court MUST consider when ordering long term spousal support.  Marriage duration is but ONE factor.
            The ten year "rule" is not really a rule but just another factor in the complicated world of spousal support determination and THATS IT!


Popular posts from this blog

California Statutory Criteria For Determination of Custody Disputes