Kevin Qualls Family Law
Maintaining Professionalism. Preserving Civility. Finding Answers. Practical Guidance On Important Divorce And Custody Matters

Can a spousal support order be changed in California?

A common issue that arises when a California couple is either divorced or were domestic partners and parted ways is spousal support and the possibility of changing or ending it. There are many reasons why a person who is paying alimony to a former spouse might want to pursue this option. Understanding how this can be handled whether it is a dispute or an amicable arrangement is important to doing it legally.

When there is a support order made, the desire to make a change to the order requires showing that there has been a change in circumstances from the time the order was put into place. What this means is that there has been a significant alteration in the situation. There are a great number of reasons why this might be pursued. Perhaps, the person who was receiving the spousal support no longer requires it.

It might be that the amount that was being paid is not enough and must be increased. In some instances, the person receiving the support is not taking the required steps to self-support and the supporting spouse can ask that the amount be altered or the support terminated because of that. Of course, if the supported spouse remarries, the support will automatically end.

Spousal support is often equated with a dispute, but it is also possible that the sides are in agreement to the changes that are sought. If that is the case, they can make the new agreement on their own and have it brought to the judge to be signed and ordered. When there is a change sought and the couple cannot agree on it, the spouse who wants the change to be made is required to file a motion with the court requesting the modification. The order will not be legally changed unless there is a court order for it. A verbal agreement is not enough.

With spousal support, those who are paying and receiving need to understand their rights to make changes and how to go about it. Speaking to a legal professional about this and any other family law issues that might come up is a wise decision to deal with the situation as effectively as possible.

Source:, "Changing (or Ending) a Spousal/Partner Support Order," accessed on July 19, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Kevin Qualls Family Law
625 The City Drive South
Suite 470
Orange, CA 92868
Toll Free: 800-783-1934
Fax: 714-750-5983
Map and Directions