How To Lower Your Alimony Payments

How To Lower Your Alimony Payments

by Jul 20, 2018Spousal Support

If you are currently paying alimony (also known as spousal support) and your financial situation has materially changed in a way that makes the current amount of alimony you a paying unfeasible, you may be able to go to court and lower your alimony payments.

There are a few requirements that your request will need to meet in order for a judge to consider allowing you to lower your alimony payments, and it’s best to work with an experienced family law attorney to make sure you follow all the procedures correctly.

Requirements To Lower Your Alimony Payments

Before considering a request to lower your alimony payments, a judge will look specifically at two things:

Divorce Agreement: It is not uncommon for a divorce agreement to include language about the conditions under which alimony payments can be modified or terminated. Before filing your request to lower your alimony payments, double check your agreement or ask your lawyer to review it.

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Financial Circumstances: In order to convince a judge to lower your alimony payments, the paying spouse must demonstrate a significant change in the financial circumstances of one or both spouses, such as:

  • The involuntary loss of a job or wage reduction
  • An illness or disability that prevents the paying spouse from working
  • The remarriage of the supported spouse
  • The supported spouse’s cohabitation with a new partner
  • An increase in former spouse’s income.

It’s important to note that a judge won’t grant a reduction based on a minor adjustment to either spouse’s income or other financial resources.

Filing A Motion

Once a motion to modify alimony has been filed, the court will typically allow the spouses to conduct “discovery,” meaning each will be entitled to ask the other to produce financial documentation showing the ability to pay support and/or the need for financial support, such as pay stubs, tax returns, and financial statements.

This is where an experienced family law attorney will be helpful in guiding you on how to proceed, regardless of which side of the motion you are on.


At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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