After a divorce, the state of California may grant one of both parties alimony or spousal support. In basic terms, these are payments meant to cover some or all of the living expenses of the other party, and they are often implemented when there is a large gap between the income level of both parties.
Many times, spousal support is essential in ensuring that people have a lifeline and are able to move on with their lives. However, payments may continue for an extended period of time and at one point or another the person who pays may wonder how they can lower or decrease their payments.
Today’s post is a quick look in those scenarios where it is appropriate to ask the courts to lower or stop spousal support. Barring a few exceptions, it can be an uphill battle to have these types of modifications made so be sure you’ve prepped yourself with the right information before moving forward.
When a Spouse Remarries or Becomes Financially Independent
Whether it’s because he/she found someone else and has entered a new marriage, or saw their finances improve to the point where they are now financially independent, these circumstances warrant a stop on the spousal support payments. Don’t stop the payments while you wait for the courts to acknowledge and modify accordingly, however. Without a formal modification, you’re still obligated to continue payments as arranged.
When Your Income Decreases Significantly
If your financial situation changes for the worse, it’s possible that the spousal support payments could be placing undue strain on your financial health. Perhaps the amount is no longer feasible. In these cases, while it is rare for the courts to outright terminate support payments, they will often decrease the amount to ensure the situation is stable and fair for everyone involved.
When You Can Prove That the Ex is Intentionally Avoiding Financial Independence
If you believe that your ex is “gaming” the system to continue getting full spousal support payments for as long as possible, you may have grounds for terminating or reducing the required payments. You’ll need to demonstrate that he/she is not making good faith efforts to re-enter the workforce, which is sometimes easier said than done. With these types of circumstances, recruiting the help of a qualified family professional is the way to go.
Consult with a Family Law Attorney Today
Once you’ve determined that you have valid grounds for requesting a modification to your spousal support arrangement, you should proceed to consult with a family law attorney ASAP. The presence of these circumstances alone is not always enough to fully convince the courts, and you don’t want to take any chances with any potentially unfavorable outcomes.
Rely on the seasoned family law attorneys at R & S Law Group, LLP. We can help you determine the best course of action based on your specific financial situation and circumstances, and offer a free initial consultation. Give us a call at (949) 825-5245 to connect with us at your earliest convenience.