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Can I modify or terminate alimony payment?

Antioch, CA |

I was married to my ex-wife for 19 years, and I have been paying alimony for 20 years. I have helped my ex get through school, and she worked as teacher until her early retirement 2 years ago. She has stated to me that it doesn't look like she will be remarrying and that I will probably have to pay her for the rest of my life. My current wife, who I've been married to for 15 years, is wondering how long is long enough?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You can always try to file a motion to terminate. Whether or not it will work will be up to the judge. Paying 20 years on a 19 year marriage is a long time. However, spousal support on a long term marriage can go on indefinitely. There are a lot of factors that go into a spousal support determination. You should at least have a consultation with a local attorney and discuss with him or her whether or not it would be in your best interests to try the motion. No one can give you a good opinion on whether you will win or lose based on the 3 sentences you wrote.

    Michael is in San Jose, California and can be reached at 408-295-4232 or at schwerin@ix.netcom.com. Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.


  2. You may request a modification. The judge has pretty much total discretion whether or not to grant your modification request. The judge's decision will be based on many factors but mainly the relative financial and life situations of BOTH parties, and an attorney can help you write about these factors You need an attorney to at least help you write your motion.

    Thomas Neil is a Sacramento attorney, representing clients in court in Sacramento and in surrounding counties. Or, if you cannot afford full representation then, for much less, Mr. Neil can instead write you the forms and declaration you need, and help you serve them, and you go to court by yourself. A well written declaration by an attorney, supported by proper evidence, will GREATLY increase your chances of sucess in court. Our office takes credit cards.

    Thomas A Neil
    3224 El camino Avenue
    Sacramento, CA 95821
    (916) 446-4153


  3. You can request a modification of spousal support by showing a change of circumstance, you make less she makes more, as well as other factors which you can see in Family Code 4320.

    I would suggest contacting an attorney in your area to assist you.

    Note this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on. Each situation is fact specific and court specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship

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