Orange County Spousal Support Modification Lawyer
Besides child support, child custody, visitation, and property division, arrangements for spousal support – that is, alimony arrangements – are almost always a key part of a divorce agreement. Usually, these arrangements work fine for a while. But as life moves on and circumstances change over time, it’s probable that spousal support agreements will also need to be changed. In the state of California, when there is a legitimate reason, either ex-spouse can request a modification or a termination of the existing spousal support agreement.
Everyone goes through changes. If circumstances have changed in your own life since your divorce, and if you now need to have a spousal support agreement modified or terminated, arrange at once to speak with an experienced Orange County spousal support modification lawyer at the Bayati Law Group. Our attorneys help divorced spouses achieve fair and adequate spousal support agreements, and when it’s called for, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf for a spousal support agreement to be modified in a way that is sufficient to meet your needs. An experienced family attorney with the Bayati Law Group can also review your current spousal support order to ensure its fairness and adequacy.
WHY SPOUSAL SUPPORT ORDERS ARE MODIFIED
There is no reason to think that any spousal support agreement will ever be permanent. California’s courts and legislators realize that everyone’s life circumstances change over time and that spousal support orders frequently must be modified; nevertheless, the courts will not approve the modification or the termination of an existing spousal support order for any but the most significant reasons.
When are modifications approved? The passage of time, by itself, is usually not enough to justify the modification or the termination of a spousal support order. If either spouse requests a modification or a termination of spousal support, state law in California requires the court to consider a variety of factors pertaining to each ex-spouse’s financial needs and abilities. A divorced ex-spouse may request the modification or the termination of a spousal support order for reasons including but not limited to these issues:
- The supported ex-spouse has remarried or is cohabiting.
- Either ex-spouse’s income or assets has considerably changed.
- Either ex-spouse has become unemployed and can’t find a job, has suffered a serious illness or sustained a serious injury, or has been convicted of a crime.
- Either ex-spouse becomes a parent with another partner.
When spousal support payments are no longer necessary or appropriate, the Bayati Law Group represents ex-spouses who are seeking to terminate the spousal support order so they no longer have to pay. Supporting spouses often seek to terminate a spousal support agreement after several years, and they are quite successful. In California, your ex-spouse should not be receiving spousal support payments if he or she can be self-supporting. In some cases, the termination of a child support order when a child reaches age 18 can also be a reason to modify or terminate a spousal support agreement.
Either ex-partner may request a modification or an end to spousal support payments at any time subsequent to a divorce, but the courts in California normally want to see a substantial change in at least one ex-spouse’s circumstances before ordering a modification or a halt to spousal support payments. When an ex-spouse who has been receiving spousal support payments gets remarried, the wedded care payments stop automatically unless the divorce settlement has specified otherwise.
WHAT IF YOUR EX IS COHABITING?
However, if an ex-spouse who is receiving spousal support payments is cohabiting, the paying ex-partner will have to request a modification of the spousal support order from the court. The problem is that “cohabitation” has no precise legal definition in this state. The courts, and most marital settlement agreements and divorce decrees, are vague or ambiguous at best. If an ex-spouse who is receiving spousal assist payments denies that cohabitation is taking place, the paying ex-spouse may find himself or herself in a tough spot, because the courts will not terminate spousal support payments without solid proof. What steps can you take to resolve this issue?
- Social media sites like Facebook are great resources, and can sometimes give you plenty of evidence regarding cohabitation.
- A low-cost investment in a private investigator, even for just two or three days, can often turn up valuable evidence on your ex-spouse’s new situation.
- Cell tower location records can track someone’s every move, giving you information on your ex-spouse’s whereabouts and the locations of late-night calls. This will help you learn where your ex-spouse is spending a lot of his or her time.
You will need to offer persuasive evidence to the court that the loosely-defined relationship we call “cohabitation,” is, in the case of your ex, a marital-style relationship. Based on our experience, we know just how difficult it can be to get through this process without a modification attorney helping you every step of the way. If you are in southern California, let an experienced Orange County spousal support modification lawyer with the Bayati Law Group help you compile the evidence you need and then help you request a modification or a termination of your spousal support order from the court.
WE WORK FOR FAIR AND ADEQUATE AGREEMENTS
If you need a family law attorney right now to help you have an existing spousal support order modified or terminated, arrange as quickly as possible to speak with an experienced Orange County spousal support modification lawyer at the Bayati Law Group. We routinely help our southern California clients to modify and enforce or terminate wedded care orders, and we provide the sound legal advice and the dedicated legal representation that our clients genuinely need.
Whether you need legal representation right now regarding the modification or the termination of a spousal support order, or if you simply need reliable legal advice to help you plan for the future, an experienced Orange County family law attorney at the Bayati Law Group is available to provide an assessment of your circumstances, to discuss the full range of your legal rights and options, and to help you make informed choices for yourself, for your children, and for your future.
Every client and prospective client of the Bayati Law Group is treated with complete respect and is extended every possible professional courtesy. Every client phone call and email is returned promptly. You can schedule a consultation appointment right now to speak with an experienced family law attorney at the Bayati Law Group regarding the modification or the termination of a wedded care order or any other matter of family law by calling (949) 798-5700 or by completing the form on this website’s contact page. The Bayati Law Group represents clients in child support, spousal support, relocation disputes and all other matters pertaining to family law in Orange County and throughout southern California. Our office is located in MacArthur Court in Newport Beach. For an overview on our location and driving directions, please visit the map located on our site.