In California there must be a "change in circumstance" to decrease or increase a spousal support order. This means that if you want to decrease your spousal support payment you must file the appropriate paperwork with the court proving that your financial situation has changed. Changes in circumstance include changes in income. If you are earning less than what you were earning when the spousal support order was made, you may ask the judge to lower your spousal support. You will need to prove to the court that your lower income is due to circumstances beyond your control. One thing to be aware of is the court "imputing income". A court may "impute income"(ruling that you make a certain amount of money even though you are not making ANY money) to a husband paying spousal support if the husband intentionally quits his job in order to decrease his income. If the judge finds out you quit your job on purpose he will order you to keep paying the same amount of spousal support. However if you lost your job and you are able to prove to the judge that you cannot find another job, the judge should reduce or terminate your spousal support obligations.
Other reasons a judge might decrease your spousal support are: 1) A bonafide Retirement, meaning that because you rightfully retired, your income is now lower and therefore your spousal support payment should also be lowered. 2) Your ex-wife has not found a suitable job even though she is able to get one. If your ex-spouse fails to manage her finances prudently and is unwilling to get a good job even though one is available, you may ask the judge to decrease or teminate your spousal support 3) If your wife becomes self supporting AFTER the divorce was finalized 4) Your wife remarries or starts living with another man. These are just a few reasons that may decrease your spousal support obligation.
For a more extensive explanation, consult a qualifed attorney.
By: Edgar B. Diaz, Esq. (C) 2011
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