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How do I bring a motion to change spousal support?

How do I bring a motion to change spousal support?
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Reviewed: 
November 30, 2017
Answer

You or your partner may want or need to change or end the spousal support in your separation agreement or court order because of significant changes to your situation. For example:

  • You or your partner's income has gone up or down.
  • The partner paying support loses their job and can no longer pay the spousal support agreed on.
  • The partner receiving spousal support makes more money and the partner paying support wants to reduce or end spousal support.
  • The partner receiving spousal support should now be self-supporting.
  • The partner receiving support is re-married and support was only being paid because they were in need.
  • The partner paying support was also paying child support that has now ended. The partner receiving spousal support wants to increase the amount of spousal support.

If you and your partner agree to change or end your separation agreement, you can make a new spousal support agreement.

If you and your partner agree to change or end your final court order, you can change spousal support on consent.

If you and your partner cannot agree, you may have to go to court to bring a motion to change. A motion to change is the name of the court process used to ask a judge to make changes to support in your separation agreement or court order.

There are Family Law Rules that tell you what is needed at every step in a court case. Rule 15: Motions to change a final order or agreement tells you what you need to do.

You can talk to a lawyer who can tell you if facts exist that may convince a judge that your separation agreement or court order should be changed.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide "unbundled services" or "limited scope retainer" services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

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