Can a Spousal Support Attorney Help You Change the Support You Receive?
A Newport Beach spousal support attorney can assist you in modifying support if you believe a change is necessary. If you are currently receiving spousal support, you may need to make a modification if life circumstances change. Your attorney can help you to determine if modifying support is an option in your situation. Your attorney can also assist you with the formal legal process of changing the support which is due.
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP understands California laws on spousal support modification and we have successfully helped many clients argue both for and against a change in a support order. To find out more about the different ways a Newport Beach spousal support attorney can help you to deal with issues of support, give us a call today.
When Can You Modify Spousal Support?
California Code section 4320 explains the factors which are considered in determining the amount of spousal support which one spouse has to pay to another spouse. According to the relevant code section, the earning capacity of each spouse; the length of the marriage; the quality of living attained during the marriage; the extent to which the party seeking support contributed to the other’s career; and a number of other factors all must be considered in determining how much spousal support has to be paid.
The court can enter an order of spousal support on either a temporary or a permanent basis. When spousal support has been ordered, the paying spouse or the receiving spouse can sometimes request a modification. However, modification is not always possible. The California Courts explain the circumstances under which people frequently ask for support modifications. Examples of possible reasons to modify support include:
- A significant drop in income which makes it impossible to afford to pay the current amount of support that has been ordered.
- A failure on the part of the recipient spouse to make a good faith effort to become self-supporting
- The remarriage of the person who was receiving support.
- An increase in the needs of the recipient spouse.
The key to whether modification is possible or not is whether there has been a material change in circumstance of either spouse. If a material change in circumstances has occurred, then it is possible to ask the court to make a change unless the initial spousal support order was non-modifiable.
How Can You Modify Spousal Support?
The California Courts also provide details on the steps which must be taken to modify a current spousal support order. To modify an order:
- The person seeking the modification will need to complete a Request for Order. An Income and Expense declaration will also need to be completed.
- The forms must be filed with the court clerk in family court where the initial spousal support order was entered. There are fees for filing a Request for Order, although you can ask for a fe waiver if you cannot afford to pay.
- Get a court date. The court will schedule a hearing in which a judge will hear evidence and make a decision on whether or not to modify support.
- Serve forms on a former spouse or domestic partner. Formal service of process must occur to ensure that he or she receives notice of the request to modify support. The notice has to be accompanied by a blank Income and Expense declaration.
- File proof of service with the court.
- Attend a court hearing. Both partners must attend the court hearing and can make arguments to the judge about why support should be modified and how support should be modified. A Newport Beach spousal support attorney should provide representation during this hearing.
The court will make a decision on whether to modify support or not. It is very important to start this process as soon as possible if a modification is needed, because the modification will not be backdated but will take effect when the court makes a change.
How Can a Newport Bach Spousal Support Attorney Help?
Do not hesitate to get the proper legal help if you believe there is a problem with your current spousal support order. Acting quickly could make all the difference in your financial security and stability. A Newport Beach spousal support attorney will help you to decide if a modification is possible and will assist throughout the process of convincing the court to change your support amount.
To find out more about California laws for spousal support, give Brown & Charbonneau, LLP a call today at (866)237-8129 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team.