The duration of a spousal support order may be lengthened or shortened by the court, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. Cases involving short-term support can occur when the support is merely intended to financially assist one spouse in the transition to single status or perhaps until the proceeds from an ordered property division or sale can be received.
Support may be ordered on a long-term basis, for example, when spousal support is intended to provide financial assistance to the supported spouse until the death of one of them. This may be due to the fact that the supported spouse cannot generate income from employment, or when the income generated is insufficient for his or her own reasonable living expenses.
The duration may also be based on a specific period of time to enable the supported spouse to obtain or complete an education, to refrain from employment in order to care for children or to become self-supporting within a reasonable time.
Simply put, the duration of a support order really depends on the individual facts and circumstances as the court sees fit. To maximize your chances of a favorable spousal support duration consult with a family law attorney. Again, as there is no set formula for permanent spousal support in terms of duration or amount, outcomes vary and can depend heavily upon experienced counsel.