Alimony payments are designed to help the spouse who earns less income maintain the same standard of living enjoyed during the marriage. If your financial circumstances changed, however, you may need to petition the court for a modification of these payments. In California, to successfully request an increase in alimony, you will have to prove a significant change of circumstances that could not be anticipated.
First, before you take the matter to court, consider discussing it with your former spouse. If you are on relatively good terms, you may be able to reach a resolution more speedily. However, you will still need a judge to sign off on these changes to ensure it is enforceable. Unlike the case is with child support, you do not need to prove a material change in circumstances if you and your spouse can agree on modifying the alimony order.
Petitioning the Court to Increase Alimony
Just as the paying party must prove a significant change of circumstances when requesting a decrease of alimony payments, the receiving party is also held to the same standard when requesting an increase of alimony payments. If you involuntarily lost your job or suffered a pay cut, a judge may consider this significant enough to warrant a modification of your alimony order.
A judge may also increase the alimony order temporarily if you are experiencing an emergency, such as a medical issue that results in greater expenses than you anticipated. It is also possible to obtain an increase of alimony if your former spouse’s income increased or had expenses that were substantially lower than what was expected.
If you have children and their needs increased, however, it would be more appropriate for you to petition the court for a modification of your child support payments instead.
Reach Out to Our Knowledgeable Family Law Team for the Guidance You Need Today!
If you are seeking a modification of your alimony payments because your circumstances changed, you need to seek the assistance of a skilled legal professional to guide you through the process. At TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD LLP, our family law team is backed by more than 100 years of combined legal experience and a commitment to helping clients through some of the most sensitive legal matters. You can rely on us to provide the strong legal support you need.
Call our law office today at (310) 455-8364 to set up a free initial consultation with a member of our team to discuss the details of your case.