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When can you request an alimony modification?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2022 | Spousal Support

When you divorce, the final divorce judgment may require one party to pay alimony or spousal support to the other. Usually, these payments only last for a certain amount of time, which is also outlined in the final dissolution judgment. The purpose of this support is to give the person receiving the support time to find a job or source of income so they can begin to support themselves.

While spousal support is often awarded in divorce cases, it isn’t something that lasts forever. Also, California law allows spousal support payments to be modified in some situations. Situations that will allow you to modify spousal support arrangements are listed here.

The party receiving payments remarries

Unless a different agreement is made between the parties, spousal support will end automatically if the person receiving support remarries. Also, if the party receiving spousal support starts cohabitating with a romantic partner, then the party providing the spouse can request payments be terminated by the court. In this situation, it is necessary to prove that cohabitation has occurred.

Loss of income or retirement

If the party paying support loses their job or retires, they can petition the court to review the support arrangement. It’s not practicable for the court to require a 65-year-old to continue working just so they can keep making spousal support payments. Also, the court won’t require a retiree to utilize investment principal to cover spousal support payments.

Modifying spousal support

Despite what you may have heard, spousal support payments aren’t something that is set in stone. There are some circumstances that will allow the person paying the spousal support to have it modified. It’s best to work with a professional to fully understand your legal rights in these situations.