How canI get permanent alimony modified ifI lost my job?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2010

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How canI get permanent alimony modified ifI lost my job?

I am supposed to pay permanent alimony to my wife but recently lost my job. What can I do to lower the monthly payment that we agreed upon when I was employed. Also, ppermanent alimony was ordered because our marriage was for 17 years. However, we actually divorced and remarried during that time so technically we where only married for 7 years in our last marriage. Should this have been considered and does it change the equation?

Asked on September 30, 2010 under Family Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You should file an Order to Show Cause requesting a modification of spousal support.  You can obtain the form for an Order to Show Cause from the court.  You should also obtain a court form called Application For Order And Supporting Declaration.

Changed circumstances such as a change in income due to the loss of your jub would be the argument to assert supporting your request for a modification of spousal support.  Your Application For Order And Supporting Declaration is where to state under penalty of perjury your argument for modification of spousal support.  When you file the Order to Show Cause and your Application For Order And Supporting Declaration with the court, you should  attach a proof of service.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing of these documents to your wife.  You can either obtain a court form for proof of service or you can write your own.  It would just say that you are over 18 and on ______ (date) the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless otherwise indicated to______ (your wife's name) at_______ (her address).  Sign the proof of service under penalty of perjury and date the proof of service.  The date on the proof of service should be the date you file these documents with the court.  When you file your documents with the court, the court will set a date for a hearing on your Order To Show Cause requesting a modification of spousal support.

As for being married 7 years instead of 17 years whether that would change the permanent alimony, it is an argument you should raise.  The permanent alimony was probably ordered due to the marriage being of long duration.  By long duration, this means a marriage of at least 10 years; however, even with periods of separation, the court may conclude that your 7 year marriage was sufficient for long duration to award permanent alimony.  This will be determined by the discretion of the judge as to whether or not permanent alimony should continue.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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