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Can I change my long-term spousal support order?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2022 | Family Law

For Californians with a spousal support order, the dollar amount is not necessarily permanent. This is true in all family law cases, but it might be a primary concern in high-asset divorces where the income and assets might decline without warning. Whether it is from the viewpoint of the person who is paying support or the one receiving it, knowing what is necessary to modify the order is important to reach the desired outcome.

What must I provide to the court to have the order changed?

First, it is important to specify what the new order should stipulate and why. Just as the court has specific criteria when making the initial order, it uses the same criteria when considering a change.

For example, the income of both sides will be assessed. If the paying party lost their job, was demoted or had an income that was largely based on commission and suffered from a downturn, this is critical. On the other side of the coin, if a receiving party finished school, completed training to get a better job or came into money, then the person who is paying support can ask that it be reduced.

To prove that the change is necessary, the court must receive proof of income and earnings. If there is a disparity from what the people involved earned and had before compared to when they requested the change, this must be documented.

In some instances, the sides are on reasonable terms and can change the order on their own. Perhaps the decline in income for the person paying support or the need for a higher amount of support is only temporary and it can be changed again once the challenging time has passed. When they come to an agreement, they must file it with the court.

When seeking to change a support order, consulting with legal professionals is key

People who have grown accustomed to a specific lifestyle after a high-asset divorce will want to maintain it. Despite that, the economy can be challenging and people might lose their jobs or face reduced income without warning. Those paying support may want it changed for a variety of reasons.

It is possible to have the support order modified, but the key information must be given to the court to do so. When trying to change the support order, consulting with experienced professionals who understand all aspects of family law and specialize in dealing with cases in which substantial assets are at stake can be helpful.