Difference between short term and long term marriage

Family Code section 4336 defines a short-term marriage as a marriage of less than 10 years (the "marriage" being date of marriage to date of separation).

The impact on whether the parties had a short-term or long-term marriage relates to spousal support and whether the court may, at the time of the initial judgment set a date for when spousal support will forever end.

Although there are exceptions, the basic rule is that if the marriage was short-term, then the court may, at time of judgment, set a date when spousal support will terminate. But, if the marriage was long-term, then generally the court may not set a termination date. However, at a later date in time, a party paying spousal support can file a motion to request a termination of spousal support (reasons can include having paid long enough, self-sufficiency, changed circumstances, reduced need for support, and more).

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