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After my 10yrs of support is up, Ex-Wife has not landed a job "by choice" will I still be responsible /obligated to pay Alimony

Los Angeles, CA |

Married 20 yrs Divorced and now paying Alimony for 10yrs, Ex -Wife Worked during 20yrs of marriage, after marriage she quit her job to be living off of Alimony payments for the 10yrs of spousal support.

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Attorney answers 3


It depends on what your judgment says. If the court's jurisdiction to award support terminates at the end of 10 years, then she cannot extend it or ask for more. If however, support ends, but the court retains jurisdiction, she can file a Request for Order to modify the order as to the termination date or amount or both. You, of course can oppose such a motion.


I agree with counsel, depends on the order. The goal of spousal support is to make a spouse self-supporting after a period of time. In this case, the court adjudicated that it would take your spouse 10 years at X amount to become self-supporting.

In a long term marriage like yours, the court, unless your judgment says otherwise, retains jurisdiction over support indefinitely. As Ms. Waxman correctly states, if the court has retained jurisdiction over support your spouse could file a motion for modification and ask that the court extend the time that you pay her support. If it is as you say it is, and she quit her job and spends her days drinking margaritas at the local day spa, she is going to have quite a hard time showing the court that she needs more time to find a job, as she cannot demonstrate she has been looking for one.

I hope that this was helpful.

This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges


You need to convince the court that she is not self supporting because she has purposefully put herself in that position. However, if you have waited all these years you my have some difficulty in that regard. You should have started trying to establish it long ago. You should consult with a local family law attorney who an hear your factual situatin in detail and advice you accordingly. Best of luck.

Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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