If you are relying on alimony payments to make ends meet after your divorce in San Jose, you may be wondering under what circumstances alimony can be modified or terminated.
If your marriage lasted ten years or more, it is considered a marriage of long duration under California law. This is significant because the court does not set a definite termination date for spousal support when ending a marriage of long duration. If your marriage lasted less than ten years, alimony payments are presumed to be necessary for no more than half the length of the marriage.
Alimony payments will be terminated if you remarry. If you live together with a partner in a romantic relationship, you may also see your alimony payments reduced or terminated. Living with a roommate to save money will not affect your spousal support payments, however.
Your former spouse is allowed to ask for a reduction in alimony payments if his or her income significantly decreases through involuntary unemployment or underemployment. Modifications can be approved for self-employed payers as long as the reduction in income is not due to a simple desire to work fewer hours.
California law states that your former spouse can not be forced to work past the age of sixty five for the purpose of paying alimony. If your spouse is forced into early retirement by his or her employer, this may also have the effect of ending alimony payments.
If your former spouse believes that you are not working towards financial self-sufficiency, he or she can ask for a vocational examination. This is a form of discovery in which a trained employment evaluator looks at your education, skills, past work experience, and the current job market to determine if you should be able to find employment. The court can’t force you to seek employment, but they can enter an imputed income for you based on the findings of the evaluation. This could possibly have the effect of lowering your alimony when new payment amounts are calculated.
Since alimony awards in the state of California rely on many different variables, it is best to discuss your spousal support concerns with a qualified San Jose divorce attorney.