When Can I Apply for a Reduction in Alimony or Child Support?


Child support and alimony payments set after a Pasadena divorce will be left in place unless one of the spouses petitions the court for an adjustment based on a change in financial circumstances. Asking for a reduction in payments is often thought of as an option for people who are left completely unemployed, but even a reduced earning potential may warrant an adjustment.

For example, actor Brendan Fraser, best known for his role in The Mummy, recently made headlines when he claimed he was no longer able to keep up with his alimony and child support payments. Fraser's child support payments were not made public, but he pays an annual $900,000 alimony payment to ex-wife Afton Smith. Fraser's reason for asking for a reduction in payments is a back injury he sustained when trying to free a tree that fell on his home after Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. The injury required extensive rehabilitation and doctors have since advised him that he should no longer perform his own movie stunts because of the risk of aggravating the injury.

Although Fraser is a well known Hollywood star and in no danger of living in poverty, it's entirely possible that his earnings could drop to the point where he is unable to keep up with his alimony and child support payments if he is no longer being paid extra to perform his own stunts. Since it can take quite some time for the court to approve a modification of child support or alimony, Fraser's decision to apply for a reduction immediately is actually a smart financial move.

If you are no longer able to afford your alimony or child support payments due to an illness, injury, reduced earning potential, or increased living expenses, you can apply to have the court reduce your payments based on your new financial circumstances. You should do this as soon as possible since payments will continue at the old rate until your application for a reduction is approved.

How Can We Help?

If you are struggling to keep up with your alimony or child support payments, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our Pasadena divorce lawyers can help you decide what course of action will be best for keeping your finances under control.