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Custody & Support Modifications

How Can One Legally Stop Paying Spousal Support in California?

A person might spend years paying spousal support to his or her ex after a divorce. It can be a connection to a failed marriage that they may not be happy with, but one must follow the court order in the divorce decree. While sometimes a person in California wishes to modify a spousal support order and may be able to do so, there may come a time in which the person wants to end the spousal support order permanently.

Some spousal support orders have an end date already in them. If this is the case the paying party need not do anything to stop paying spousal support once they reach that end date. The only thing they must do, if they are paying through wage garnishment, is fill out a certain form that indicates the paying party is now paying $0 in spousal support. This form will then be provided to the paying party's employer.

Spousal support payments will also end if one's ex remarries. In this case, the paying party will have to fill out a certain form indicating $0 will be paid in spousal support. After that, spousal support payments may cease.

In addition, a paying spouse can apply on his or her own to stop wage assignment. This may happen if his or her ex died, remarried or if the spousal support payments have not reached the paying party's ex for more than six months, because the paying party's employer or the child support agency overseeing the support payments does not have the most recent address for the paying parent's ex. There is a certain form to fill out in order to end spousal support payments for any of these reasons.

These are three ways in which to end spousal support permanently. However, in most of them, certain forms must be filled out and filed with the court in order for the paying party to legally stop paying spousal support. Therefore, parties wishing to permanently stop paying spousal support or wishing to make a spousal support modification should make sure they cover all their legal bases for doing so, to increase their chances of success.