In California, there is no rule that spousal support has to be given to a lesser-earning spouse. However, if you are the lesser-earning spouse and want to seek spousal support following your divorce, you can certainly do so.
Spousal support doesn't last forever (in most cases) and is unlikely to be all you'll need to pay your bills. However, it can be a good boost to your income for a short time.
How long does spousal support last?
Spousal support generally lasts half the length of time as a marriage. For example, if you've been married for 20 years, you could expect that spousal support could last as long as 10. Sometimes, the courts won't set a duration, but in that case, the person who pays may later show that the support is no longer necessary based on your circumstances.
What happens to spousal support if you get remarried?
If you remarry, you will likely lose your spousal support. At that time, most judges and courts would assume that you could now support yourself with the help of a second person. You should also be cautious if you plan to move in with a partner who is not your spouse, since any kind of financial support could change your need for support from your ex-spouse.
If you want to seek spousal support, your attorney will help you put together a case to show that you need it. Our website has more on spousal support and why it's an important benefit that you may want to seek during your divorce in California.