In our state, alimony is always a hot topic. Indeed, in most states, alimony is a hot topic. In California, family law courts recognize that financial situations change after the final divorce decree. And, if that occurs, the alimony-paying spouse can ask for a change to the long-term spousal or domestic partner support order. Do not wait to fall behind though. Once your financial circumstances have changed, ask for a modification immediately because a modification cannot be backdated prior to your filing date.
The first step is to gather evidence of your financial change since the divorce. California family courts only change support orders if there has been a significant change, so you must be able to document that change. For example, if you are fired from your job, your termination papers can be used as documentation to justify a reduction in the support amount until you find a new Claremont, California, job.
Talk with your ex-spouse. Do not spend more than a few days talking with your spouse because you do not want them dragging the process out to avoid you filing your modification request. But, if you can come to a written agreement on a change in the support, even if just temporary, the family court judge can and will sign off on it.
To get the ball rolling with the court, fill out and submit Request for Order (form FL-300). This will need to include what you want the court to do (reduce the alimony amount) and why the Claremont, California, court should do it (why the alimony amount should be reduced). You will need to fill out item 4 and item 10 (Facts to Support). You can also ask for other changes with this form as well, like child support.
You should also use attachment, Spousal or Domestic Partner Support Declaration Attachment (form FL-157), in addition to the Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150). Attach all of the documents that you gathered in Step 1, including income proof from the past 2 months and last year’s state and federal taxes. Do not forget to black out any sensitive information, like your Social Security Number and bank account numbers.
After our documents are bundled and executed, make at least three copies of everything. The original and two copies are filed with the family law court clerk who issued the original order; keep the final copy for yourself. There is a $60 filing fee that can be waived if you cannot afford it and get court approval.