Spousal support is generally meant to be only temporary with the purpose of helping the supported spouse eventually become self-supporting. It isn’t payment for wrong doings or retribution for anything; it is awarded by the courts solely to ensure the spouse with less financial resources will not suffer greatly as a result of the divorce.

It is also awarded in cases where there are minor children still at home. Both parents will have to maintain a comfortable and safe home for the children. However, it is expected the supported spouse will eventually be able to support his or herself through efforts at obtaining a job and increasing earnings.

If the courts feel that they are not making a good faith effort in finding a job or more work, the supported spouse may be ordered to seek and find work. The supported spouse will have to submit proof of job search efforts in order to keep being paid support. The supporting spouse generally does not hold the obligation to financially support their spouse for the rest of their life but rather help them financially until they can get on their feet.

The amount of spousal support may change when the financial circumstances of either party change. If the income of either party changes or the need for support changes, you can seek a post-judgment spousal support modification.

To modify a spousal support award, you must demonstrate that a significant change of circumstances has happened, thus increasing or decreasing the need for support or the ability to pay such support. If you and your former spouse can agree on the change in the spousal support amount, you can write the stipulation and submit it to the court for approval. Once approved by the judge, the order is enforceable.

Even if one spouse loses all their income, until the judge puts into place a new support order, they will still be liable for the full support amount. Contact a family law attorney experienced in spousal support modifications right away if you need to increase or decrease your spousal support amount. If you are not in agreement over the change in spousal support, the party seeking the modification must file a motion for modified support.

To end a spousal support award, you would go through a similar process of filing a motion with the court. The judge will consider many of the factors considered when the first spousal support amount was ordered along with the new financial circumstances and needs of both parties along with the overall reason the modification is being requested.

Are you in Los Angeles County and have questions about modifying spousal support? Attorney Mark H. Karney, a Certified Family Law Specialist, has expertise in complex spousal support issues and can represent you and your best interests in court during divorce and going forward. Serving Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and surrounding areas, Mark H. Karney can efficiently handle your complex divorce and ensure you walk away with the best possible case outcome. Call our office at 310-564-5710; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.