No he cannot decide to lower the amount amount of court ordered spousal support on his own. If he could, then court orders would have no legal effect at all.
Based on these facts, he probably owes a large amount of arrears. But as you have already figured out, you will probably need to hire a lawyer to help you resolve this issue by filing a contempt action, etc. The problem you seem to have had is finding the right attorney to represent you.
When you are interviewing lawyers, make sure you do your homework. Check client reviews here in Avvo and make sure the attorney doesn't have any disciplinary actions against them. You may also want to check their credentials, i.e., where they went to school, endorsements, etc.
According to my calculations, he's not a young man: 31 years of marriage, plus 9 post-divorce is 40. Assuming he was 25 when married, means he's probably at least 65. Please don't wait to obtain the money your are entitled to. Just being practical.
Make sure you provide your attorney with a copy of the Judgment, since that is the operative document to be reviewed and analyzed. Your lawyer will provide you with legal options available to you. Good luck.
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We don;t have all the facts but it does sound as if he is in contempt. There may be issues related to the statute of limitations (how long has it been since he paid, etc), and other qualifying factors, so if you can you should consult with an attorney on this. And no, your receipt of your share of the community portion of the retirement does not count towards his alimony obligations to you.
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