California residents who are paying spousal or partner support after a divorce might need to modify or end a spousal support order if circumstances change. There are a variety of reasons for deciding to modify or end a spousal support order, and it is recommended that the changes be made as soon as possible, as judges are not allowed to date the order retroactively when they sign it.
A modification in a support order might be sought when the ex-spouse or partner receiving the support either remarries or enters into a new domestic partnership. The order might also be modified if the supporting spouse experiences a drop in income or loses their job, or if other no longer needs support.
If the ex-spouses are able to agree on a new support amount, they can write it up and submit it to the judge as a stipulation. Once the judge signs it, this becomes the new support order. However, when spouses cannot agree, they might ask the court for a modification by filing a motion. There are also several ways to end a spousal support order. If the order has an end date on it, nothing needs to be done. In other cases, however, a new Earnings Assignment Order for Spousal or Partner Support with a support amount of $0 might be needed.
A verbal agreement between the spouses is not legally binding. If complications arise during the support discussions, an individual may wish for an attorney to intervene on their behalf. Doing so may ensure the best outcome possible during negotiations.