Modifying Spousal Support/Alimony
Whether the spousal support that you pay or receive is temporary, rehabilitative, or permanent, no judgment is completely set in stone. Circumstances for either party may change, warranting a change in spousal support amount or duration. According to California law, one or both spouses or domestic partners must show that there has been a "change in circumstances" in order for court-ordered spousal support to be modified. An experienced San Jose spousal support attorney can help you accomplish your goals, whether you are receiving spousal support (alimony) or you are required to provide spousal support as the predominant earner in your former relationship.
Reasons for Modifying Spousal Support/Alimony
There are many reasons why one or the other party would want to or need to change the spousal support order, and most have to do with changes in financial circumstances. The following are reasons why the paying spouse or partner could change their spousal support order:
- The other party remarried;
- You lost your job, lost a source of income, or you had a significant change in income, such as a demotion;
- You have experienced a decline in health that inhibits you from working, or has added significant expenses to your life;
- The other party’s finances increase significantly, such as earning a raise, getting a higher paying job, or inheriting a large sum of money;
- You or the other party reaches the age of Social Security Disability;
- You go to jail (you will still be responsible for alimony even if you are incarcerated, which is why you need to modify the order as soon as possible);
- The other party says they no longer need or desire the spousal support; or
- The other party has not been making a good faith effort to become self-supporting.
As for the receiving spouse, they may ask the court for their support to be increased in the following circumstances:
- You have experienced a loss in income, such as losing a job;
- You get sick or injured and can no longer provide for themselves in the same way as before;
- Your expenses have gone up, such as the cost of rent or the cost of medical treatment;
- The other party has experienced a significant increase in income or revenue; and
- The child support payments that you have been receiving stop, which reduces your household income.
Why You Need to Call an Attorney Today and Act Fast to Modify the Spousal Support Order
In all too many cases, one of the parties that could have asked for a modification to alimony waits too long, resulting in financial hardship for themselves. Whether you lost a job and believe that being out of work will just be temporary, or you believe that, if necessary, you can just ask for a retroactive support payment or reimbursement due to your or the other party’s changes in circumstances, the fact is that this waiting will only harm you. Spousal support or reimbursement will not be awarded retroactively, meaning that your financial losses now will not be made up for later. For this reason, we encourage you to call the dedicated San Jose family law attorneys at the office of Gemma V. Reyes today for immediate help with your case.