In the aftermath of a messy divorce, spousal support can definitely become a complicated issue for many individuals. In the broadest sense, if you are ordered to pay spousal support, you are entitled to make significant payments that ensure that the recipient is financially able to maintain their previous standard of living. However, under no circumstances are these payments perpetual. In fact, spousal support is considered temporary in the viewpoint of California’s statutes.
If that is true, are you aware of how long you are required to pay spousal support? More importantly, is there any way that spousal support can be terminated? A spousal support attorney answers these questions below.
Spousal Support is Meant to End
In short, California does not require lifetime support on the behalf of any of its citizen. Because of this, spousal support is meant to end. Therefore, it is possible to have the court terminate an existing spousal support order. Though, in order to dive into this topic longer, you will first have to understand what the court considers to be a “reasonable” spousal support time period. In a marriage that ends in less than 10 years, the court usually enforces spousal support for at least half the time of that marriage.
During this time, it’s definitely possible to modify the existing spousal support order to make the conditions accommodate both parties. Again, the court is under the impression that spousal support is temporary, and that the recipient will receive the money while attempting to support themselves in the future.
In the event that the recipient of these funds simply fails to attempt to pursue a career or support themselves financially, you can file a claim to have the court examine this situation. If the court takes your side, you can effectively petition that the court ceases your obligation to pay spousal support after a specific period of time.
The Court Will Entertain Your Claim
If the court has summoned you to pay spousal support, they will also entertain any claims from you that accuses the recipient of not attempting to take care of themselves. If you request the assistance of an attorney, you can check to see if your spousal support judgment included a clause known as, the Gavron Warning. This clause basically outlines the requirements of the recipient of spousal support to become self-sufficient after a period of time.
If this clause is found in your judgment, you have the legal basis to seek the termination of your spousal support order. However, it’s not always that simple. If a former spouse has not begun working after a reasonable time period established by the court or by a long time period, you can request the court to perform an examination on the individual’s ability to pursue work with the help of a spousal support lawyer.
During this process, you can also ask for the addition of the Gavron Warning to your existing judgment if it hasn’t been added already. Moreover, if your income has increased since the filing of a spousal support order, the amount you are subject to pay in spousal support will not increase. This is because the standard of living in a previous marriage often determines spousal support, not your increased income.