Can I modify my California spousal support order?

Spousal support orders are usually put in place for a number of years. However, circumstances change, which may lead to a need for a modification of the support order.

According to the California law, either party can request a modification of spousal support if there is a significant change in circumstances. It is important to note that you cannot ask for a change to the order without having an acceptable reason to do so. In addition, you must be able to provide the court with adequate proof backing up your reason.

What qualifies as an acceptable change in circumstances?

There are many reasons to request a modification.

  • Any major change in income for either party is a good reason for requesting that the court reviews the order.
  • An event that affects the finances of one party, such as a major health issue or inability to work due to the coronavirus, may also prompt a modification request.
  • It is also possible to make a request if you are the payer of support and you feel the payee is not trying to become self-sufficient.
  • You could request a modification if you believe the person receiving the support remarries or is living in a marriage-like situation with someone else.

It is also acceptable to draft a new agreement with your former spouse and present it to the court together.

Proving your right to a modification

While it may seem obvious to you that your circumstances, or your ex-spouse’s situation has drastically changed, proving it to a judge can be difficult. Making changes to your payment obligations without approval of the court can lead to serious legal and financial consequences.

If you believe your support obligations or the support you receive needs to be modified, a legal professional can help.

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