If you have a court order requiring you to pay spousal support to your former spouse, you may be able to have such payments reduced or eliminated. The first thing you need to do is look at the existing spousal support court order. Bring your court order to an experienced spousal support attorney who can explain to you whether the order is one that can be modified.
If the court order is able to legally be modified, you will have to show the court that there has been a material change in circumstances since the order was made to warrant a change in the spousal support order. Here are five possible reasons why the court might modify an existing spousal support order.
Your Spouse No Longer Needs the Support
Your spouse has gotten a job or is receiving income from another source, such as a trust. He or she no longer needs as much, or any, spousal support payment from you to meet his or her needs.
Your Spouse is Not Making a Good Faith Effort Toward Being Self-Supporting
If your spouse can get a job or invest prudently with his or her own assets, but is making no effort to do so, you may be able to get your spousal support payments reduced. Your attorney could argue that your ex-spouse does not deserve the amount of spousal support that you are currently paying.
Your Spouse is Cohabiting with a New Partner or Has Remarried
If your spouse is cohabiting with a new partner, he or she may no longer require as much or any spousal support as before. Therefore, your attorney can request a reduction or termination of your support. If your former spouse has remarried, you can ask for spousal support to be permanently terminated.
You Have Had a Significant Drop in Income and Can No Longer Afford the Amount of Support
If you have lost your job or the amount of income you earn has been reduced, you may no longer have the funds to keep up with the amount of spousal support ordered. Your family law attorney could ask for spousal support payments to be reduced.
You cannot quit your job or ask for a reduction in hours in order to earn less money so that you can pay less spousal support. If the court finds that you attempted to do so, your request for a modification will likely not be granted.
Your Spouse Has Not Disclosed Critical Financial Information to the Court
If the court-ordered spousal support order was based on information that is inaccurate or false, your spouse may not need the amount of support he or she is currently receiving. If you can provide proof to the court that your ex-spouse failed to disclose accurate financial information, the court could grant your request to modify or terminate spousal support.
Request a Modification as Soon as Circumstances Change
You should meet with an experienced spousal support lawyer as soon as you realize one of the above circumstances exist. Spousal support cannot be changed retroactively. If you lose your job in January and file papers in court to change the support order in March, the judge can only change support as of March. The judge cannot go back to the day you lost your job.
Call the Spousal Support Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you are interested in reducing or eliminating your spousal support payments, call a family law attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our skilled spousal support can help you request a modification of spousal support. Our knowledgeable attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully representing our clients in spousal support and family law matters.
We have offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville. We will be able to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.
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