What is Spousal Support?
Spousal support, formerly known as alimony, is a form of financial assistance that one spouse pays to the other during and after their divorce. It is generally intended to help the receiving spouse maintain a standard of living similar to that which existed during marriage. Spousal support is not automatically given for each divorce, and the amount of financial assistance may vary depending on a number of factors.
In most cases, spousal support is ordered when there is a large income gap between spouses. Support may also be ordered if one spouse is accustomed to a particular lifestyle that they can no longer achieve without financial support. Spousal support can be ordered on a temporary basis (which is typically used to help a spouse adjust to their new lifestyle) or on a permanent basis. If you wish to modify your spousal support, contact Khosroabadi & Hill for assistance by calling (858) 434-1020.
When Can Spousal Support Be Modified?
In some cases, spousal support can be modified depending on changes in circumstances. The amount or duration of an order may be changed if either party files a motion for modification with the court. In California, parties must demonstrate a material change in circumstances before a court will consider modifying spousal support. This could include one person’s income decreasing substantially due to a job loss or the supported spouse’s income increasing to the point where they no longer need assistance.
When determining if a court will grant a modification of spousal support, several factors are taken into consideration, such as:
- The length of marriage
- Age and health of both spouses
- Income and earning capacity of each spouse
- Standard of living established during marriage
- Contractual agreement between parties
It is important to note that modifications may only be made when there has been a significant change in circumstances. A court may also consider changes in taxes or health insurance costs when deciding whether to modify spousal support.
If you have any questions about spousal support and when it can be changed, contact us today. We understand the complexities of family law and can provide you with the best advice and assistance during this difficult time.
Can Permanent Spousal Support be Modified?
Because of the word “permanent” in its name, many people wonder whether permanent spousal support can be modified. Fortunately, the answer is yes. Either spouse can request a modification in permanent spousal support from the court.
There are a few reasons why someone may want to modify permanent spousal support, including:
- The person receiving support no longer needs financial support.
- The person paying spousal support has had a significant decrease in income.
- The person paying support becomes disabled.
- The person paying support retires.
- The person paying support is incarcerated.
- The person receiving support gets remarried.
- The person receiving support is not attempting to become self-sufficient.
- Either person misrepresented their assets or income during the divorce.
How is Spousal Support Modified?
The process for spousal support modification is relatively straightforward. If both parties agree to the terms of modification, they simply sign an agreement and present it to a judge for signature. Then, the court will file an order, and the spousal support payments will be modified based on the agreement.
If the parties do not agree about the modification or one party does not wish to modify payments, then one party must petition the court for modification. The party seeking modification must then prove to a judge that the modification is justifiable. If you are attempting to modify spousal support, reach out to our team today for representation.
Can Spousal Support be Terminated?
If spousal support is no longer needed, both parties can sign an agreement and submit it to the court for a termination of support. Once the agreement is filed, support payments will stop immediately.
However, if only one spouse would like to terminate spousal support, they must file a motion with the court. That spouse is responsible for showing proof that the support payments should cease.
Courts will sometimes terminate spousal support payments in the following circumstances:
- The person paying support is over the age of 65 and wishes to retire
- The person receiving spousal support remarries
- The person receiving spousal support has a significant increase in income
- The person paying spousal support has a significant decrease in income
Can a Spousal Support Lawyer Make a Difference?
An experienced spousal support lawyer can help you navigate the process of modifying spousal support. A lawyer with extensive experience in family law will aggressively pursue your case to ensure you receive fair financial assistance during your divorce. Spousal support attorneys understand the nuances of California family law and can offer valuable insight into how courts may view your case.
Their goal is to ensure all parties are protected throughout the court process. They’ll work with both sides to ensure a fair outcome for everyone involved. Contact us today for more information about spousal support modification and how we can help you secure an equitable agreement for all parties.
When Should I Contact a Spousal Support Lawyer?
When considering spousal support or alimony, many spouses are confused about when it is time to contact a lawyer. Generally speaking, if you have any questions regarding your rights and obligations related to spousal support, then it is important to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
In general, the law may require that a request for spousal support be made at the time of filing for divorce in order for either party to be eligible for financial assistance from the other spouse. If this requirement applies in your jurisdiction and you did not make a request for spousal support when filing your initial paperwork, then consulting an attorney can help you determine whether there are other legal options available to pursue those funds. Call Khosroabadi & Hill today at (858) 434-1020 for more information.