Some Benefits Of Divorce After Long-Term Marriage

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsFor one of the spouses in a long-term marriage, there can be benefits of divorcing after such long-term marriage versus divorcing after a short marriage over the other spouse.

You stay in California and you want to get divorced. But you have not completed 10 years of marriage. Well, maybe you should before you think about a divorce, unless of course you need that divorce urgently. If you do plan on hanging around for a little while and if you are eligible then there are lots of benefits. According to the 10-year rule in California there are many benefits which you can get if your marriage lasted for a decade. The rule has been misinterpreted by many as a means of making money after divorce but it is not so. The rule makes sure that the under-earning spouse in the relationship is not completely ignored.


The alimony depends a lot of the duration of marriage. If you earn lower than your spouse, then the court will let you enjoy spousal benefits from your partner, provided the income gap is big. The longer your marriage, the more chances that spousal support becomes permanent. If you have been out of job for a long time, then the court will order for a rehabilitative alimony so that you can find yourself a job. Courts want the under-earning spouse to improve his/her earning to a level where he/she can sustain himself/herself.

Marital home

The court assumes that couples who have been married for a long time don’t have to pay mortgage. If you are one of them then you have a lot to cheer. Paying off the mortgage means having an asset that is free of liens. But if you still have mortgage then it must be cleared off by the spouse who will keep the house. The house will be refinanced such that there is sufficient amount to pay off the lien and provide the other partner with half of the house value.  Sometimes, when the income of one spouse drops down to practically nothing after selling the house, the court may directly award it to the other spouse.

Social security

In some case, you might receive benefits from the Social Security Administration after your divorce after a long marriage. But it depends a lot on your spouse and how much he/she will earn on retirement. Sometimes, you will receive the benefits during your retirement age.  If you are eligible then you might receive half of it. But these benefits are only applicable if you choose to stay unmarried after your divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation