Thank you for using Just Answer. It will be my pleasure to assist you. California law (Family Code Section 4336(a)) says that where a marriage is "of long duration," the court "retains jurisdiction" indefinitely after the divorce is completed, unless the spouses agree otherwise. Retaining jurisdiction means that the court has the ability to continue making decisions about matters between the spouses, and can reevaluate its original orders and modify them if the facts justify a change. Any marriage that is longer than ten years is automatically considered to be "of long duration," and sometimes, shorter marriages can be considered lengthy as well. A California court determines the amount and duration of permanent spousal support
by weighing twelve factors set out in Cal. Fam. Code §4320:(a) The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage(b) The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party(c) The ability to pay of the supporting party, taking into account the supporting party's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living(d) The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage; (e) The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party(f) The duration of the marriage(g) The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without unduly interfering with the interests of dependent children in the custody of the party(h) The age and health of the parties, including, but not limited to, consideration of emotional distress resulting from domestic violence
perpetrated against the supported party by the supporting party where the court finds documented evidence of a history of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, against the supported party by the supporting party(i) The immediate and specific tax consequences to each party(j) The balance of the hardships to each party(k) The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. Except in the case of a marriage of long duration as described in Section 4336, a "reasonable period of time" for purposes of this section generally shall be one-half the length of the marriage. However, nothing in this section is intended to limit the court's discretion to order support for a greater or lesser length of time, based on any of the other factors listed in this section, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the parties; and(l) Any other factors the court determines are just and equitable.In other words, there is no law in California that automatically makes you liable for spousal support. While the duration of your marriage is certainly one factor that the court will consider, the court must also consider all of the other factors above in making a determination. The court could also find, for example, that your wife is not in need of spousal maintenance
, and award her nothing. If you need any clarification or further information, please use the REPLY feature, and I'll be happy to assist you. Thank you.