How Can I Reduce the Amount of Alimony I Owe?


If you were ordered to pay alimony after filing for divorce in Pasadena, you may be wondering how to reduce or eliminate your payments. Although spousal support is not easily modified, payment amounts can be altered under certain circumstances.

Permanent alimony is relatively rare in most divorce cases today. It is much more common for alimony to be awarded for a specified time period only. The purpose of this arrangement is to allow the receiving spouse time to find employment and become financially self-sufficient.

Alimony is not normally affected when the paying spouse remarries, but can be affected when the receiving spouse remarries. If the person receiving alimony payments now has greater household resources due to the income of a new spouse, he or she has less justifiable need for alimony. Therefore, alimony payments could stop, decrease, or be paid less frequently.

If your ex has not remarried, but is living with a partner and sharing household expenses, this may be justification for a modification in alimony payments. Having a roommate who he or she is not romantically involved with is not justification for paying less alimony, however.

Other reasons for which alimony could be reduced include having an illness or medical condition that makes it harder for you to work or becoming suddenly involuntarily unemployed. Bankruptcy, voluntary or deliberate job loss, and inflated living expenses are not likely to be successful as justifications for ending alimony payments.

Regardless of your reason for wanting to reduce or eliminate spousal support, payment alterations are not automatic. In order for alimony payment to be adjusted, you will need to contact your lawyer and have the necessary modification papers filed. If you simply just stop paying alimony, you will be held in contempt of court.

How Can We Help?

If you are currently paying alimony and believe you have a reason that would allow your payments to be reduced, please contact our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our experienced Pasadena divorce lawyers can help explain how to request a modification of spousal support.