If you've been ordered to pay alimony after your divorce in Pasadena, keep in mind that there are several different ways you may be able to reduce or eliminate this obligation.
Support payments are automatically terminated if your ex remarries. If your ex is cohabiting with a new romantic partner, this should reduce or eliminate your spousal support payments. Having a roommate isn't reason to reduce or eliminate alimony, however.
If your income has gone down through no fault of your own, you should be able to apply for a reduction in spousal support payments. Acceptable forms of a reduction in income would be involuntary unemployment, having your work hours cut, or experiencing a reduction in earnings from the business you own. Voluntarily choosing to limit your work hours is acceptable only if you are physically unable to work full time or if you were previously working much more than what is the standard in your profession. California law requires people paying alimony to maintain a reasonable work regimen.
You may have heard that imputed income can be entered if the court believes a parent is failing to work the necessary hours needed to pay his or her child support payments. Imputed income can also be entered for a spouse receiving alimony, if the spouse has the skills and training to seek employment but refuses to find suitable work. Imputed income is based on the results of a vocational assessment in which factors such as skills, training, past employment, and the availability of similar positions in the current job market are considered. It's essentially a "best guess" estimate of a person's earning potential.
If you've reached the age of 65 and have retired, you no longer have to pay spousal support. If you've been forced into early retirement, you'd have to request a reduction of support based on your lower monthly income.
Contrary to popular belief, declaring bankruptcy doesn't reduce your alimony obligation. Spousal support is one of the types of debt that are specifically listed as non-dischargeable during bankruptcy.
How Can We Help?
If you are looking for a way to reduce or eliminate your alimony payments, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our Pasadena matrimonial law firm can help determine the best strategy for your particular case.