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How long should spousal support last


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Poll: How long should spousal support last? (26 member(s) have cast votes)

How long should spousal support last?

  1. 1) No spousal support should ever be awarded. (6 votes [23.08%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.08%

  2. 2) Less than 1/2 the length of the marriage. (9 votes [34.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.62%

  3. 3) 1/2 the length of the marriage, regardless of the length of the marriage. (8 votes [30.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.77%

  4. 3) 1/2 the length of the marriage in marriages that are NOT of long duration (10 or more years in CA) (2 votes [7.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.69%

  5. 4) Longer than 1/2 the length of the marriage. (1 votes [3.85%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.85%

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#21 brucem

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 11:41 AM

The legislative bodies need to revisit the issue of SS in California. The burden to show proof of need and efforts to become independent should be placed on the supported spouse. Courts must be more proactive when it comes to making supported spouses work. A lot of ex spouses feel a sense of entitlement when it comes to support. I don't share that belief.

If there are no minor children and neither spouse is diabled, there should not be any support unless one parent stayed at home to raise children. Someone needs to define reasonable when it comes to what it takes to become self supporting. Does it really take 10 years for someone to become self supporting????

#22 22years

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 03:31 PM

QUOTE(brucem @ Apr 6 2008, 01:54 PM)
...A lot of ex spouses feel a sense of entitlement when it comes to support. I don't share that belief...If there are no minor children and neither spouse is diabled, there should not be any support unless one parent stayed at home to raise children... Does it really take 10 years for someone to become self supporting????

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As I understand it, there are judges who discourage long-term support precisely BECAUSE of the potential for self-entitlement. Also, according to the attorney who handled our no-fault settlement, child support and spousal support are entirely different entities that have no bearing on the other. I was awarded custody of our boys, but that made no difference in the spousal support I was ordered to pay.

I've been supporting my ex for eleven years, and she's still not self supporting, and I'm stuck with "lifetime" support because of the length of our marriage hence my user name! Heck I thought she was gonna marry another guy right off, so I bit. Silly me.

#23 EJW

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Posted 15 May 2008 - 07:21 PM

QUOTE(brucem @ Apr 6 2008, 01:54 PM)
The legislative bodies need to revisit the issue of SS in California. The burden to show proof of need and efforts to become independent should be placed on the supported spouse. Courts must be more proactive when it comes to making supported spouses work. A lot of ex spouses feel a sense of entitlement when it comes to support. I don't share that belief.

If there are no minor children and neither spouse is diabled, there should not be any support unless one parent stayed at home to raise children. Someone needs to define reasonable when it comes to what it takes to become self supporting. Does it really take 10 years for someone to become self supporting????

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We have CalWorks to ensure that folks on public assistance become self-sufficient. Why can't we adopt a similar model for spousal support? If someone needs training, then that individual should receive the necessary training or support to reenter the workforce. How long does California give it's clients? I believe that clients must demonstrate that they're working towards self-sufficiency or they lose money.

#24 Jim Reape

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 07:05 AM

In a way we do or can have that but the burden is placed heavily on the support paying spouse to make that happen. Spousal support is one area where a judge still has a lot of discretion. I think when we see greater parity in wages and more stay at home dads the attitude from the bench will change.


#25 cincsu

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 10:44 AM

QUOTE(EJW @ Mar 26 2008, 03:16 AM)
I agree.  Short-term assistance when necessary to rehabilitate one spouse, and that's it.  As WPM says.  It's privatized welfare.

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i agree short term assistance when needed to support a spouse that needs time to get back up to speed with work or training because they were a SAHM for years...if both people work then no spousal support should change hands. their career was their decision. i also think privatized welfare is a bunch of BS.

i'm also proud to say that i'm a female with just as much education as my husband (some of it obtained after marriage while raising a step son - so, yes, it can be done) who makes more money than my husband and can just as easily take care of myself.

too many people teach their girls to find a husband that can take care of them....i was taught to be able to take care of myself and my children before i found a husband. (i don't have children, i was just brought up to be able to care for them alone in case something happened to my husband)

#26 brucem

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:48 AM

QUOTE(EJW @ Mar 25 2008, 03:25 AM)
How about eliminate it?
Support should only be awarded to ensure that the receiving spouse becomes self-sufficient if not already.
Let's say you have a young woman who has a history of employment.  She's a SAHM for three years.  It seems reasonable that she would receive support until such time that she becomes employed.  She should also be required to report every week on her job search (comparable to EDD). 

Lets say you have a couple who are currently employed.  Neither spouse should be entitled to spousal support upon dissolution.

Let's say you have an middle-aged woman who has been a SAHM for many years.  It seems that she would need support for a longer period.  She might need training or something to boost her marketability, but she should be working at some point.

Cut spousal support if receiving spouse isn't meeting training or job search requirement.

Because spousal should be tied to ability to work, child support shouldn't affect the ability to apply or discontinue spousal support.  You would have to factor child support into the calculation because it's not particularly helpful to have homeless payors.

The above are just examples of situations.  I just pulled them out of my head because I thought that they're likely scenarios.

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I concur 100% with this opinion. I don't think courts go far enough to ensure supported spouses take the appropriate steps to support themselves. The payor has to jump through too many hoops to get justice.

#27 bbrc

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:14 PM

I think it really depends upon the agreements of the parties before the divorce, and also taking into account issues of fairness.
For example, what if you have a couple where the husband wants the wife to stay home and take care of him and kids, and he will be the one earning the income and both parties agree to that arrangement and many years go by.
If that couple divorces, the wife has invested her time into supporting the husband's career with the anticipation that they will have a happy retirement together and both of them worked towards that.
It would be fair for her to receive lifetime support.
Or, if you had a situation where one spouse is disabled and the other isn't, then support would be better than having the disabled spouse have to rely on the governement (and the taxes that fund those programs).
In the case of a marriage where both parties want to work, then they might come to a different agreement about support, and might not need support, but again, I think that agreement would be up to the couple.


QUOTE(brucem @ Jun 8 2008, 01:01 PM)
I concur 100% with this opinion. I don't think courts go far enough to ensure supported spouses take the appropriate steps to support themselves. The payor has to jump through too many hoops to get justice.

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#28 formyson

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 07:34 AM

Ok and what if mommy was supporting the whole family, providing home, food, clothes, insur., you name it. kid was going to dcare because daddy was not reliable due to personal problem (hence the divorce). did some work from home but far from being enough to even support oneself. had plenty of time to work on becoming self-supporting and seek work outside the house but did none of that for quite a few years.
would you think this guy should receive spousal support now?? really??

#29 Jim Reape

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 07:55 AM

QUOTE(formyson @ Jan 23 2009, 08:34 AM)
Ok and what if mommy was supporting the whole family, providing home, food, clothes, insur., you name it. kid was going to dcare because daddy was not reliable due to personal problem (hence the divorce). did some work from home but far from being enough to even support oneself. had plenty of time to work on becoming self-supporting and seek work outside the house but did none of that for quite a few years.
would you think this guy should receive spousal support now?? really??

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Unfortunately "No good deed goes unpunished." (Clare Boothe Luce) Look at the couple as a partnership. One spouse made it possible for the other to live in an environment where they failed to thrive and never achieved self sufficiency. The down side to doing the right thing is that if the marriage were to dissolve the longer a spouse tolerated and supported the underachiever the longer and greater the spousal support exposure at the end.
One recommendation is a vocational evaluation where skills are assessed and correlated with available positions.

#30 bbrc

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 09:24 AM

I think that situation is a lot different than the ones I described above, and it appears that it was not the agreement of both parties that the wife would support the husband and he wasn't taking care of the kids, so in that scenario, spousal support would not be appropriate in my opinion, whereas it would be appropriate in the situations I described.



QUOTE(formyson @ Jan 23 2009, 07:34 AM)
Ok and what if mommy was supporting the whole family, providing home, food, clothes, insur., you name it. kid was going to dcare because daddy was not reliable due to personal problem (hence the divorce). did some work from home but far from being enough to even support oneself. had plenty of time to work on becoming self-supporting and seek work outside the house but did none of that for quite a few years.
would you think this guy should receive spousal support now?? really??

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#31 formyson

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 03:54 PM

In a way i suppose by providing much everything didn't help him to do better . still, i don't see how i could have made the moves on his behalf either. the biggest shadow in the picture is that i waited way too long to walk out of this. but then again, i was hoping, for our son's sake, that things would turn out better at some point. it took me a few years and the fact the our son started to see that something wasn't right to give me the will to go ahead.

for what i can tell, i'm not in a classic situation, being bread winner, mom, housekeeper, accountant, etc...

QUOTE(bbrc @ Jan 23 2009, 09:24 AM)
Look at the couple as a partnership. One spouse made it possible for the other to live in an environment where they failed to thrive and never achieved self sufficiency.

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#32 cincsu

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE(Jim Reape @ Mar 25 2008, 01:54 PM)
As a woman don't you feel like you are holding the minority view here?

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I am a female and also agree that state imposed welfare is BS. My husband and I are equally educated in that we both old masters degree. Marriage, spousal support and/or child support should never drive complacency as nothing is guaranteed.

It frustrates me to no end to see my husband continually educating himself and go after higher earning/higher stress jobs only to see a portion of his efforts go to the BM to increase the standard of living in that houeshold while she does nothing to improve her level of education or improve her earning ability. Child support, spousal support - it's all the same.

#33 Jim Reape

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:11 AM

I can see dialogue in this area going on for some time before we see any significant changes. But change does start with dialogue.

#34 WildPonyMom

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE(cincsu @ Jan 27 2009, 10:56 AM)
I am a female and also agree that state imposed welfare is BS.  My husband and I are equally educated in that we both old masters degree.  Marriage, spousal support and/or child support should never drive complacency as nothing is guaranteed.

It frustrates me to no end to see my husband continually educating himself and go after higher earning/higher stress jobs only to see a portion of his efforts go to the BM to increase the standard of living in that houeshold while she does nothing to improve her level of education or improve her earning ability. Child support, spousal support - it's all the same.

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Believe me, sister-friend ... I foursquare agree with you. Especially when the term "award" is added to spousal/child support. These so called awards really are little more than privatized welfare.




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