A California Family Court recently rejected a former husband’s modification of spousal support request due to bad faith and an attempt to manipulate business ownership to hide “income.”
The former husband owned a business which provided a $50,000 per year salary and an additional $200,000+ in business income annually. He had been originally ordered to pay over $9,000 per month in spousal support at the original divorce. That amount was reduced to $4,000 per month several years ago by an agreement between the parties.
In the recent filing, the former husband claimed he had “retired” and requested spousal support be terminated altogether. The business had been transferred into the name of his new wife.
The original spouse objected to the requested modification of spousal support or to terminate it altogether arguing the only reason he transferred the business to his new wife was to create the appearance of a substantial drop in income. The Court agreed with the original spouse finding that the husband’s transfer of the business was simply an attempt to evade spousal support.
The court “imputed” an income to the husband based upon the income and status quo established in the original case and ordered the continuance of spousal support.
There are valid reasons to request modifications to spousal support or child support or to terminate them altogether. If you are considering a request to increase or reduce support you will need to be able to prove there has been a substantial change (more than 10%) in the “status quo.” Our Family Courts will not even accept a case without a convincing filing and documentation to support the request for a modification hearing.