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When can people modify a spousal support order?

by | Apr 26, 2023 | Spousal Support


During a divorce in California, couples separate their shared life together. During the divorce process, couples begin living separately and divide all of their financial accounts, retirement accounts, investments and other property. They take their portion of the marital property and begin their new life.

People may want to just cut ties with their ex-spouse and many aspects of their lives will be completely separated. However, if one spouse is paying the other spousal support, the couple will not completely cut ties.

Spousal support payments can continue for many years after a divorce. Over those years, life can change for people. There are many unexpected events that can arise. Some of these events can completely change their current life. When these types of events occur, people may need to modify their spousal support award.

Changes in the circumstances may allow for modification of support

However, people cannot just simply stop paying their spousal support or reduce the amount that they pay. People need to either have their ex-spouse agree to it or need to ask a judge to modify it through a motion. When making the request, people seeking to modify the order must be able to demonstrate that there has been a significant change in the circumstances.

If they are able to establish that there has been a change in the circumstances, they need to go through the factors used to make the original spousal support award to determine the amount they will pay going forward as well as how long they will need to make those payments.

Spousal support payments in Orange County are designed to ensure that both spouses are able to continue to meet their needs, based on the standards established in the marriage, after a divorce. The spouse paying spousal support needs to have the ability to pay the amount ordered. Sometimes, circumstances change and they no longer have that ability. Modification of the spousal support award may be necessary. Experienced attorneys understand when people can modify their spousal support and may be able to guide one through the process.