In 2010, my daughter got a divorce in Orange County, CA. There was domestic violence and threats of death. He purchased bullets and was looking for their gun which my daughter had removed from the house. He also told their 10 yr old daughter at bedtime that she wouldn't see her mother in the morning because he was going to kill her. The judge granted her alimony for the rest of her life or until she remarries. Her husband who wants to reduce child support/alimony payments told her that he has obtained a new attorney who has told him that lifetime alimony is illegal in California. Is this true?
Each case poses their own different issues the need to be analyzed. There are numerous documents that need to be taken into consideration before any attorney can give you advise on what the reality is in your daughters situation. I suggest that you tell your daughter to seek the aid of an attorney as soon as possible in order to represent her interest in this matter. The fact that your ex-spouse has now retained new counsel should cause some concern. Most attorneys who practice in family law provide a free consultation.
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Family Law Attorney
Spousal support is up to the discretion of the court and its length is up to the discretion of a court. If a court awarded spousal support for an undetermined time, it had the authority to do so. There is nothing in the statutes saying that spousal support for a lifetime is illegal. It might be modifiable, but not illegal.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
There is no law that would make lifetime alimony illegal however it would be uncommon. Generally, spousal support is left open until further order of the court, remarriage, or death. However, a further answer is difficult without reviewing the court's order.