Concepts About Terminating Spousal Support
Terminating spousal support is a big issue. The party that is receiving the support wants to be supported for as long as possible and the party that is paying for the support wants to end it as quickly as possible. There are reasons for ending spousal support, such as:
- The person getting the support may no longer need it as they are self-sufficient
- The person paying the support might not be able to afford to pay for it any longer
- The person getting the support is making no efforts to be self-sufficient
- The person getting the support has remarried
How to terminate spousal support?
The first step to terminating spousal support is to assess the living conditions of both the parties and the length and flexibility of the support. The attorney should then find out if the court order has a Gavron warning attached to it. A Gavron warning is a warning issued by the court that requires the person receiving the support to become self-sufficient within a reasonable amount of time.
For marriages that last less than 10 years, that reasonable amount of time for payment of spousal support is usually half of the length of the marriage. Marriages that are longer than 10 years have a different set of rules to follow. A point to be noted is that there is no such thing as a lifetime support. According to California Family Code Section 4320, the spouse who’s getting supported should become self-sufficient within a reasonable amount of time.
After assessing the spouse who’s getting supported for the steps that he/she is taking to become self-sufficient, the attorney will build a case to bring it to the court. If the spouse getting supported has increased earnings, the attorney can argue to reduce the alimony and possibly reduce it or terminate it if possible. If the ex-spouse hasn’t started working yet, a vocational examination can be done to determine the ex-spouse’s ability to work. These methods can be effectively used to reduce the alimony to an eventual zero.
Also, Family Code §4322 can be used as a potential argument to terminate spousal support if the ex-spouse:
- has no children
- has or acquired a separate estate from inheritance that earns income
- has income from employment
Getting divorced in California can be complicated. Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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