When Will a Family Law Court Approve a Spousal Support Modification?

As part of most divorces in California, the family law court will want to assign spousal support to be paid by the spouse of greater income to the other. The objective is allowing each spouse to continue enjoying a standard of living similar to that experienced during the marriage. In some cases, spousal support – also called alimony – is the only thing that prevents one spouse from falling into financial straits after the divorce finalizes.

However, spousal support is calculated based on current financial situations and what can probably be expected in the future. It does not account for everything that can happen, including financial emergencies. It is entirely feasible that the ex-spouse paying the alimony will no longer be able to afford those payments, or the person receiving it will not be able to support themselves with the current payment amount. When either situation happens, it is time to consider using a spousal support modification.

Unexpected Circumstances Call for Unexpected Fixes

If you have fallen on hard times and spousal support is not helping, then requesting a spousal support modification might be able to fix it. You can either request to pay less or receive more, depending on your divorce agreement. The court will not approve just any modification, though. In order to have the changes approved and put into action, you need to show undoubtedly that you have fallen on hard times and that it is largely not your fault.

You might be able to get your modification approved if you:

  • Fall ill or become seriously injured.
  • Lose your job unexpectedly.
  • Need to relocate to keep your job.
  • Pay spousal support and your ex-spouse remarries.

When you are requesting more alimony to be paid to you, understanding your ex-spouse’s financial situation is necessary. No matter the difficulties you are facing, the modification will not likely be approved if it would also put your ex-spouse into similar hardship.

For more information and legal guidance about spousal support modifications in California, call 805.633.4999 and speak to me, Westlake Village divorce Attorney Jeffrey Graff. I have more than 30 years of legal experience with a focus on family law I can put to good use for your case. During a free initial consultation, I can help you determine the correct place to start for your modification. Contact me today to begin.

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