But beware the new lady-friend who is looking to create a retirement plan. Hers. And you’re it. The law in California is pretty clear on this issue, if you are married more than 10 years, the court can retain jurisdiction over how much alimony you are paying, for the rest of her life and yours.
She’s 57, he’s 54, they have a good time together. One week it’s the theater, the next it’s a bike ride and picnic. They’re both old enough, and have seen enough to know that today is what matters, because tomorrow can disappear quickly.
After a few months of serious dating, “the talks” start. She drops a hint about wanting a long term commitment. Her friend just got re-married. Wouldn’t it be great to know we had a secure future together…? They get married.
In many cases this is a wonderful thing. People finding each other and forming a loving, lasting relationship that will carry both of them through the end of their days.
But beware the new lady-friend who is looking to create a retirement plan. Hers. And you’re it.
The law in California is pretty clear on this issue, if you are married more than 10 years, the court can retain jurisdiction over how much alimony you are paying, for the rest of her life and yours.
These days men and women are working later in life, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes out of boredom. For the non-working spouse, that’s a great thing, because it means that the higher income will be used to determine lifetime spousal support.
In the case I described above, after 10 years and 2 months, she filed for divorce. He’s a healthy, active guy, who still likes to go bike riding and hiking. Eight years later and she’s had a heart attack, stays home most days and wants alimony for the rest of her life. She wants to keep up the lifestyle that she has become used to, she just wants it without him, so she’ll wait the 2 years and then take his money.
A sad but true tale of late life marriage. He’s on the hook for a lifetime of alimony. Ten years is going to cost him about 14 years of paying for her theater tickets, her mortgage, and her daily bottle of wine.
Can a pre-marital help prevent this? Yes. A properly drafted pre-marital, sometimes called a pre-nuptial agreement, can prevent a person from having to pay alimony for the rest of their life.
Can a post-marital agreement prevent this? Yes. This can be done even after a marriage, if the parties agree, and see good lawyers who can draft an agreement, that way there is no confusion over what was agreed to and by whom.
Can it cut the other way? Yes, the law is designed to protect the person who makes less money, so if she makes more than he does, she will have to pay the alimony.
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”