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Maintaining the standard of living you had during your marriage after your divorce is not often an easy task. However, if the divorce will leave you in a precarious financial state due to not having employment or lacking the skills to make a sufficient income, then the California court may award you spousal support as part of your divorce agreement.

Spousal support is quite common in cases where one partner did not work outside the home. If this is your situation, you contributed to the marriage in other ways, such as caring for the children, keeping your home clean, making meals, doing laundry and handling the many other tasks required to keep a household running. Now that you are no longer married, spousal support can help you as you train for a career or find a job. It can also help with large income differences between you and your ex-spouse.

The Judicial Branch of California notes that spousal support is complicated. Here are three things to keep in mind about it.

  1. Duration

How long you receive spousal support is ultimately up to the judge, but the suggestion is you should get it for up to half of the time you were married. For example, if your marriage lasted for eight years, you would get support for four years. However, if it lasted 10 or more years, you may get payments for life.

  1. Ending support

While the judge can set an end date or award lifelong payments, there are some other ways support may end. If you or your ex-spouse dies, support ends. Also, if you get married, support will end.

  1. Requesting it

You need to ask for spousal support as part of your divorce. If you fail to ask, the court will not likely award it.

Spousal support can be beneficial if you do not have an income or feel you will struggle to maintain your standard of living after your divorce. Do keep in mind the rules about spousal support leave a lot of room up to the judge to make final decisions, so there are no guarantees when it comes to payments.