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Do I Pay Too Much In Spousal Support?

When a couple gets a divorce, the higher-earning spouse may be asked to pay the lesser-earning spouse alimony, or spousal support. Even though spousal support payments are designed to make each party’s financial situation more balanced, it can sometimes have the opposite effect. If you are paying too much in spousal support, your ex may be reaping the benefits while you struggle to pay your bills. Some people may think there’s nothing they can do to adjust their alimony payments once the court has made the order official, but you may be able to seek a legal modification. If you are paying too much in spousal support, find out what you can do to minimize your payments.

Determining Whether or Not You Overpay

Before you can request a legal modification to your court-ordered alimony payments, you should be able to determine whether you are overpaying. In most cases, the court will only grant a modification if either spouse has undergone a significant change in circumstances. In other words, if your financial situation has changed or if your ex-spouse’s needs have changed, the court may grant an official change to the court order.

Some examples of justifiable changes in circumstances include:

  • Job loss
  • Retirement
  • Medical chances, including serious illnesses or injuries
  • Reduced income
  • The supported experiences an income increase
  • Either party becomes disabled
  • The supported spouse remarries or lives with a partner

Requesting a Modification

If either the paying spouse or the receiving spouse experiences a significant change in circumstances, you may be eligible to seek a modification through the court. When the court grants a modification, the judge will consider several different factors before deciding on a new alimony amount. The ultimate goal of this process is to evaluate anything that could directly or indirectly affect the financial needs and obligations of either party. In short, the court will review all of the same factors that were considered when the support order was initially granted, including:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s role during the marriage
  • The earning potential of each spouse
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s education

The court may also take a look at how your assets were divided in your divorce. In some cases, couples will use assets as a way to balance out other aspects of their divorce. For example, the receiving spouse may be granted more assets in lieu of a higher spousal support payment.

If you think you are paying too much in spousal support, our firm may be able to help you obtain a legal modification. To learn more, contact Singleton Smith Law Offices, discuss your case with our Murrieta family law attorneys.