In California, a long marriage is defined as one that is over 10 years. This is calculated from the date of marriage to the date of separation. ‘Separation’ does not necessarily mean a ‘legal separation’, which is not required in order to Divorce in California.

The definition of ‘separation‘ refers to the date that either party felt that the marriage is over.  This may be the date when the parties no longer live together or if they still live in the same home, when they no longer live together as ‘husband & wife’.

If it is determined that the date of marriage to the date of separation is 10 years or more, then spousal support may be paid for life or until the party, who receives the support, remarries.  The spousal support issue is the main difference between a ‘long marriage’ and one that is not.

All other issues such as Child Custody & Support, division of property, including real estate, retirement funds, investment funds and other assets as well as division of debts etc proceed as in any other Divorce.

L.A.W. (Legal Action Workshop) has more than 35 years’ experience with Divorces involving a long marriage.  Call us to make a time for a confidential consultation with one of our experienced Divorce Attorneys @ 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) or visit  for more information.  We offer Low Flat Fees for Divorce.

Reader Interactions


  1. Bee says

    Married 12 years.
    Spouse earned higher wages during the course of our marriage however, is unemployed at this time. (Collecting unemployment). I’m assuming he’ll eventually go back to work.

    Currently I’m earning minimum wage part time.
    No kids, no property, some debt.

    What are my chances is spousal support?

    Thank you.

    • Brenda Platt-Drucker says

      When he works and if he earns more than you, you can request spousal support. By the way, you can request spousal support after the divorce is finalized based on need and other factors.
      Hope this helps!

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