Vanessa Bryant has filed for divorce from Kobe Bryant recently. As we may all recall there was a large scandal involving Kobe and a mysterious woman. Despite this encounter with another woman Vanessa stuck by his side. She has stayed married to Kobe for over 10 years now. So we must ask, why did Vanessa wait so long to divorce Kobe?
The couple was married on April 18, 2001 and she filed for divorce on December 16, 2011. This would mean they were married for just a little over 10 years.
In California, a marriage of under 10 years is considered a marriage of a SHORT duration. The court has discretion when it comes to marriages of a SHORT duration to award spousal support for a timeframe which equates to half the length of the marriage. For example if you were married for 8 years, spousal support could typically be awarded for 4 years.
Since Vanessa waited over 10 years, her marriage would be considered a marriage of a long duration (Family Code Section 4336(b)). In this situation, where the parties are married for over 10 years the court takes into consideration the
factors provided in Family Code Section 4320 which include but are not limited to the following:
1. Standard of living of the parties including where they live, cars they drive, places they shop, income earned during the marriage etc…
2. Whether the supported party has an education, has skills or can become self supporting
3. The husband’s income and wife’s income
4. Whether the supported party contributed to the supporting party’s career or education
5. The age and health of both the husband and the wife
6. The assets and debts of the husband and wife
Spousal support for a long term marriage can be awarded for an indefinite amount of time. So once Vanessa does receive spousal support, the court will more than likely not set a time for the spousal support to terminate.
Keep in mind it is the goal of the state of California for a party to become self supporting. So, once Kobe believes Vanessa has had ample time to become “self supporting” he can file a motion with the court to modify spousal support and request a termination. His motion may or may not be successful depending on the circumstances. As it stands now, Kobe will be paying spousal support for quite some time. If you have any questions concerning your divorce and your rights
please contact our experienced attorney for a free consultation.