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Spousal Support (Formerly Called "Alimony")

Spousal support comes in two forms: Temporary support, which is awarded by the court so that the unemployed or lesser earning spouse can support herself or himself upon the separation of a married couple or registered domestic partnership. Permanent spousal support is awarded in marriages of 10 or more years. While a spouse or registered domestic partner can receive permanent support for many years, it should really be called "long-term" support because there is a trend in California law to require each spouse or registered domestic partner, even those with young children, to become self supporting. This trend has resulted in non-working spouses or spouses who earn less than the other to receive spousal support for less years and in lesser amounts than in the past. Nonetheless, obtaining an award of permanent spousal support should be considered by anyone in a marriage or registered domestic if the relationship existed for 10 or more years. If you have been a supported spouse and out of the work force for long periods of time, you may need job training, or vocational rehabilitation to help you secure a job and become self-sufficient down the road to be able to find and keep a job. You may need spousal support (alimony) from your ex-spouse to allow you to survive until you are self-supporting.

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