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The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan

Married 9 Years? One Reason to Consider Making it 10

You’ve been married for nine years, and it seems that your husband has spent seven of those years on the couch. Your dreams of traveling the world together have been replaced with, “Honey, can you bring me a Pepsi? I’m about to make it to the next level of Minecraft.”

Your husband is a good man, but you’re lonely, you’re bored, and you can’t remember the last time you did something romantic or even shared a meaningful conversation. You’ve started thinking about divorce.

We’re San Francisco divorce attorneys. We won’t tell you not to get divorced, but we will say that waiting a year might be in your best interest. 

California is one of a handful of states in which there are special spousal support rules for marriages of 10 years or longer. If you earn less than your spouse, and you have been married for at least ten years, you have the right to be paid alimony for as long as it is needed and for as long as your spouse can pay. You and your spouse will decide on the right California spousal support arrangement for you. If you waive support, the agreement cannot be modified in the future.

There are other reasons to wait ten years. The Social Security Administration also considers a marriage of ten years or longer to be a long-term marriage. This means that if you don’t remarry, you could be eligible for Social Security benefits based on your former spouse's earnings when you reach the age of retirement. If your spouse is in the military and has been on active duty for ten years or longer, you may also be eligible for retirement pay.

While there are benefits to waiting for the ten-year mark, there are some circumstances in which you should not wait. If there is any danger to you or your children, it is important that you get to a safe place.

The San Francisco spousal support attorneys at The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan are on your side. We fight to make sure that your interests are protected during and after your California divorce. To schedule an appointment, please call 415-341-1144.