As a divorced spouse who is still paying spousal support, you might feel as though it is a financial burden that you are having to suffer unnecessarily. While you probably welcome the opportunity to pay child support and provide your kids with the financial support they need, you may have reason to believe that the spousal support you pay is no longer necessary for the well-being of your former spouse.
Spousal support orders are often quick to become outdated, and this is because life circumstances usually move quickly after a divorce. When circumstances change with your former spouse, for example, when he or she moves in with a new partner or gets a new job, you have the right to seek a spousal support modification. This is because with these changes has probably come a change in financial circumstances. He or she may no longer need spousal support in order to achieve a certain standard of life.
How do I go about modifying the spousal support order?
In an ideal situation, you would be able to talk to your former spouse about the changes. In light of this discussion, you could agree on an appropriate modification to spousal support together. When this has been agreed upon, a written agreement should be made which should be submitted to the judge so it can be signed. When it is signed by the judge, it becomes a new court order.
However, often former spouses find it difficult to come to an agreement on what is an appropriate modification to spousal support. When this is the case, you, as the person wanting to make the change, will need to file a motion with the court. This should be done as soon as possible. This is because you may be able to have the court order changed retroactively. For example, if your former spouse received a promotion in January and you file for a modification immediately, you may receive a retroactive reduction in alimony from that date. However if you file in March, you risk missing two months' worth of alimony reduction.
If you want to make a spousal support modification in California, it is important to take action immediately.