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How long do you have to be married to get alimony?

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Quick Answer

In the United States, the length of marriage required for an ex-spouse to receive alimony varies from state to state. For example, in California, alimony may be granted for marriages that only lasted a year, according to Nolo. The duration of financial support runs for 6 months.

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Full Answer

Alimony is a court-ordered payment that may be awarded to either spouse upon the legal termination of their marriage contract. The duration and amount of this monetary grant is determined by several factors. Under Californian law, for example, the dissolution of short-term marriages, defined as those that lasts under 10 years, enables the financially weaker spouse to receive alimony equal to half the time the payee spouse had been married. As of 2015, there are no set guidelines for how long alimony is granted for long term marriages in California. The decision is under the discretion of the judge, as noted by Nolo.

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