In California the rule of thumb is that spousal support is due for one-half the duration of the marriage. That rule of thumb applies for short term marriages under ten years. In long term marriages, the general rule is that support is due “indefinitely.” Each case is unique and if the court decides to terminate spousal support, it will have to analyze all of the relevant facts and circumstances of the parties. The support obligation also will cease when the supported spouse remarries or when either party dies.
When parties mediate their divorce settlement, they may choose to voluntarily waive support, limit support to a certain amount and duration, buy out support, or come up with any other arrangement they mutually agree to.