Spousal Support and Long-Term Marriages


Actor John Schneider, best known for his role as Bo Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard, is getting divorced from his wife of 21 years, Elvira "Elly" Schneider. In papers filed in Los Angeles County last month, the couple cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce.

Child support won't be an issue, as all of the couple's children are adults. However, Elvira is reportedly seeking spousal support.

John has been working steadily since appearing on The Dukes of Hazzard from 1979 to 1985. In addition to his various acting roles, he has recorded 10 country music albums and is the founder of FaithWorks Productions, a company producing family-oriented films.

In marriages lasting more than 15 years, California law allows the lesser earning spouse the right to be paid alimony indefinitely as long as he or she needs the added income and the paying spouse is able to fulfill the obligation. Since Elvira's earnings will never surpass John's, this means he could be paying alimony for quite some time. The only way John is likely to avoid paying spousal support indefinitely is if the couple had a prenup placing limitations on eligibility for spousal support.

Another key benefit of being married 15 years or more is that the Social Security administration considers this to be a marriage of long duration. This means that the lower earning spouse maintains eligibility for spousal benefits based on the higher earning spouse's record as long as he or she does not remarry. Divorced spouse benefits are half the amount the higher earning spouse is able to collect and do not affect the level of benefits that the higher earning spouse receives.

How Can We Help?

Eligibility for alimony can be an important consideration for stay-at-home spouses in the middle in the middle of a Pasadena divorce. If you are in need of legal representation, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our experienced Pasadena divorce lawyers can help you receive a settlement that will protect your long-term financial interests.