In California, there’s a statute that says that any marriage of 10 years or longer is a long-term marriage, and what that means is, anything that’s under 10 years is a short-term marriage.

What happens in treatment of the long-term marriage is, the court is not supposed to terminate its jurisdiction over the issue of spousal support. What that means is that, in a long-term marriage, the court is supposed to always be able to order spousal support payable from one spouse to the other based on need and ability to pay.

When you’re involved in a long-term marriage, the court usually, unless you’ve agreed, reaches an agreement with the other side to accept spousal support for a shorter term and will maintain its jurisdiction, meaning its ability to order spousal support based on need and ability of the parties. In a short-term marriage, usually the court will terminate jurisdiction about half the term of the marriage, and that’s the general rule that spousal support is awarded usually for half the term of the marriage in a short-term marriage.