After a divorce or domestic partnership dissolution, it is possible to modify spousal support (also called alimony in California) order when there is a significant change in circumstances. Unlike child support modifications, which are often routine in nature, petitions to modify spousal support often result in contentious litigation.

Whether you wish to modify a spousal support order or keep its existing terms in place, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney.

When Can Spousal Support Be Modified

There are several reasons a payer may request that a spousal support order be modified. The following are common examples:

  • The payer’s income drops significantly and is unlikely to return to its former level in the foreseeable future.
  • The spouse receiving support has either remarried or has achieved a degree of financial independence that eliminates the need for future spousal support payments.
  • The payer is incarcerated and therefore is unable to comply with the terms of the existing spousal support order.
  • The spouse receiving payments does not appear to be making a good faith effort to find employment or otherwise support themselves financially.
  • A misrepresentation in assets or income resulted in an erroneous spousal support order.

Those are only basic examples. Most cases involving modifications to spousal support orders are fairly nuanced. If you are paying spousal support and believe you may have grounds to modify an existing order, coordinate with a Los Angeles modification of spousal support attorney. Your lawyer will explain if you have genuine reason to modify an order.

If you do, they will help you present a strong case demonstrating why your request for a modification should be granted. This is essential. It’s unlikely your ex will immediately agree that your spousal support order should be modified. You need assistance from an expert who can help you illustrate to a judge why your circumstances justify a modification.

For instance, you can’t merely tell the court your income has changed and expect to be believed right away. You need to provide evidence of a change in income, such as income statements.

While providing that form of evidence may not be too difficult, obtaining other forms of evidence may be more challenging. Perhaps you’re arguing that you no longer need to continue paying spousal support because your ex’s income has increased to such a degree that they no longer are in a position to need your financial support. You will need to acquire and present evidence showing this is the case. This is one of many complex tasks a Los Angeles modification of spousal support attorney can assist you with.

When Can’t Spousal Support Be Modified in Los Angeles

Again, each case is unique and before granting a motion to modify spousal support, the judge will examine the facts. Generally speaking, a spousal support order can be modified when there is a significant and long-term change in circumstances. For example, the loss of a payer’s job may not be sufficient grounds for a modification, unless it appears likely that the payer will not be able to obtain a new position at a comparable salary.

Other instances when a judge may deny a request for spousal support modification include the following:

  • A payer’s income has dropped because they voluntarily left a well-paying job or closed a business when they did not have to.
  • A payer voluntarily put themselves into greater debt, perhaps by making a large purchase that did not serve any valid purpose.
  • A payer’s financial circumstances changed due to their own personal finance mistakes, such as taking a risk on an unsafe investment.

When advising you, attorney Teresa Beyers will carefully review your situation and provide you with an objective assessment of your legal options. If your ex wishes to modify an existing spousal support order but it appears their given reasons are not valid, your attorney will work to gather evidence showing their request for a modification should not be granted.

Aggressive, Results-oriented Representation

In a spousal support modification case, the financial stakes can loom large, particularly if the existing order calls for the provision of permanent spousal support. Teresa Beyers provides vigorous representation in family court. From the start of your case to its conclusion, Ms. Beyers will work diligently to protect your rights and interests.

Contact The Law Offices Of Teresa A. Beyers

For a free initial phone consultation with an experienced Los Angeles spousal support modification lawyer, contact The Law Offices of Teresa A. Beyers.

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