How Long Can A Person Get Spousal Support (And Why)?

How Long Can A Person Get Spousal Support (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 19 years

A happy and successful marriage is every couple’s dream. In certain cases, the case is quite the opposite. When things do not go as expected, there is only one solution left – to part ways legally and with mutual agreement. Based on the laws of the land, either the husband or the wife can use their entitlement to a fixed amount.

In spite of minor complications, the couple can frankly discuss the parameters with a designated family lawyer. Once the husband and wife decide to get separated, there are a lot of things to be sorted apart from simply signing stamped sheets of paper. Likewise, spousal support is necessary in most cases. 

How Long Can A Person Get Spousal Support

How Long Can A Person Get Spousal Support?

The duration for which a partner can claim compensation from the other is quite controversial. Based on the existing laws, the number of years is capped at nineteen years. This is due to the fact that the percentage should be at least half of the period for which the two of them have been married.

That being said, any extramarital affairs would cut down on a year or two based on careful examination of the case facts. It is a common notion that a marriage that lasts more than ten years is a long marriage while that lesser than ten is short. Even if it has been nine years since the couple got married, the category will be the same.

For longer marriages, spousal support can easily be spread throughout the life of the intending partner. This does not make it inevitable for the contesting party to pay. The law of the land might have other set standards which need to be checked before moving forward.

There have been cases in the past where all the amount was paid in one go and then the duration was completely dissolved, that too, with mutual consent. While the duration is much important, it is equally essential to note that the support can be in the form of cash or kind. In the latter case, it can last as long as the condition which complicates the issue continues to exist. 

In summary:

Less than 20 yearsUp to 19 years
More than 20 yearsLifetime

Why Does A Person Get Spousal Support For So Long?

The provision of spousal support is not universal. Owing to the customs and laws of different countries, the duration varies. While there is minimal difference between compensation and spousal support, one must be aware enough to check the present status of the laws.

Another factor affecting the duration is the age of the couple’s marriage. This is crucial in deciding the amount as well. Apart from these two determiners, the wishes of the two parties are given equal weightage. In case one of them is quite well off, no support is granted.

The same is the case with either husband or wife. Kids and other special conditions are also given due consideration while calculating the span of spousal support. Special conditions cover health issues and other comorbidities. In certain cases, the support has been extended till the partner recovered from the existing health issue; which supposedly barred him/her from earning a living.

When there are exceptional situations, this fixed compensation can be completely waived off as well. This will amount to a duration of zero years, irrespective of the time slot ordered by the concerned judiciary. Such instances take place wherein the party receiving spousal support remarries or wilfully rejects the amount in a prudent sense of mind.

Above all, spousal support lasts as long as it is necessary for the normal functioning of the partner’s life. One must not settle for less or forced upon a duration that is unreasonable.


Though the other family members or kids might not welcome the thought of separation completely, the same becomes inevitable in certain cases. Whatever be the situation, fixing the duration and amount of spousal support is essential along with the other compulsory formalities.

Neither should hesitate or step back for such compensation as it is valid as well as rightful. One should make it a point to claim only a reasonable amount so that the procedure is not extended more than the general duration of the agreement. Once both the parties are satisfied, there are no more issues to hamper the process. 



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