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Can The Amount Of Spousal Support Ever Be Changed?


Spousal support can be changed if there is a change in circumstances, such as the loss of employment or the development of a disability that would make it impossible for a party to continue paying spousal support. Other changes in circumstances include retirement, marriage, death, or new cohabitation of the supported party with another individual. If the supported party finds gainful employment, then there may no longer be a need for them to receive spousal support.

If My Ex-Spouse Has Committed Adultery, Does That Affect Alimony Or Spousal Support?

California is a no-fault state, which means that the commission of adultery by one spouse would not affect alimony or spousal support.

How Long Will I Have To Pay Spousal Support?

Spousal support will need to be paid for as long as there is an order in place from the court. Typically, spousal support orders do not terminate on their own unless it’s a short-term marriage, which in California is defined as a marriage of fewer than 10 years. For short-term marriages, spousal support is typically ordered for one half of the length of the marriage and may have a termination date that would be in the order. Therefore, the spousal support would terminate on a predetermined date. There may also be a termination date if the parties negotiated for a larger amount of support to run for a shorter period of time, which the parties might agree upon in order to allow a previously stay-at-home mother or father to obtain training and re-enter the workforce. For long-term marriages that lasted more than 10 years, spousal support may run in perpetuity until there is a death, remarriage, or new cohabitation of the supported person with another individual.

What Are My Rights If My Ex-Spouse Fails To Pay Spousal Support?

If an ex-spouse fails to pay spousal support, then the party who should be receiving that support would have the right to seek a contempt charge against their ex-spouse, which could possibly result in a brief period of confinement in a penal institution. Other forms of recourse include having property, bank account, or retirement accounts levied upon. An individual could also file a UCC-1, which is the same action that any creditor could take but would come with the additional bonus of being able to find the ex-spouse in contempt; this would require a trial during which the supported spouse would have to prove that their ex-spouse had the ability to pay support and failed to do so. The court may award attorney fees for enforcing a spousal support order.

Additional Information Regarding Spousal Support In A California Divorce Case

If an individual’s ex-spouse earns more income than them, then they may be entitled to receive spousal support. If one party cannot afford to hire an attorney and the other party can, then in accordance with the California Family Code Section 2030, the court would be able to make an order for attorney’s fees to enable that party to hire an attorney for the purposes of pursuing spousal support. It is important that people understand this so that they do not let the inability to hire an attorney hinder them in their attempts to obtain the spousal support they deserve.

For more information on Modifying The Amount Of Spousal Support, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (916) 915-8866 today.

California Probate Lawyer Peter Cianchetta

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(916) 915-8866

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