Paying too much in Spousal Support? Call us!

Modification of a spousal support order is a matter for the exercise of the court’s discretion, based upon a showing of a change of circumstances since the last spousal support order. In re Marriage of Meegan (1992) 11 Cal. App. 4th156, 161; In re Marriage of Stephenson(1995) 39 Cal. App. 4th71, 76-77. “In determining whether a change of circumstances has occurred, the trial court is required to reconsider the same standards and criteria set forth in . . . now Family Code section 4320 it considered in making the initial long-term order at the time of judgement and any subsequent modification order.” Marriage of Stephenson(1995) 39 Cal. App. 4th71, 77. In other words, in considering a spousal support modification request - … given the predicate of a change of circumstances – the trial court looks at the various factors bearing on spousal support under section 4320. In re marriage of Khera and Sammer(2012) 206 Cal. App. 4th1467, 1475. Family Code § 4320 provides more than thirteen different factors that can be considered when rendering a spousal support.  Herein, a few of these factors are relevant and necessary for a proper analysis of Respondent’s request for modification.  Said factors are as follows,  be considered.  in pertinent part the following factors to be considered when ordering spousal support
1. The extent to which the earning capacity of each party is sufficient to maintain the 
of living established during the marriage…           
2. The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support, taking into account the
3.   supporting party's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and 
standard of living. 
4. The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the 
5.  The obligations and assets, including the separate property, of each party.
6.  The duration of the marriage…
7. The age and health of the parties..
8. The balance of the hardships to each party.
9. The goal that the supported party shall be self-supporting within a reasonable 
period of  time.. 
   In regards to what determines a Change of Circumstance, California courts have been very clear in regards to need and ability.  The court of appeals in the 2007 stated that a ““Change of circumstances” means a reduction or increase in the supporting spouse’s ability to pay and/or an increase or decrease in the supported spouse’s needs.” In re Marriage of West(2007) 152 Cal. App. 4th240, 246. [Emphasis Added]
If you are considering filing a request for modification of spousal support, I highly recommend you consult with a Certified Family Specialist.  At the  Baghdaserians Law Group, located in Pasadena, CA, we can offer such a consultation.  Our firm principal, Patrick Baghdaserians, has been certified specialist since 2014. 

Patrick Baghdaserians, CFLS
Family Law Attorney and Expert Located in Pasadena, CA


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