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How do I go about ending spousal support in California?

For many at the end of a marriage in California, there will be an order that one former spouse pay spousal support to the other. For some, this is not a major issue. For others, however, it is an economic hardship. Regardless of the circumstances, there are times when the spousal support order can and will come to an end. Knowing how to ask the court to end the spousal support order is an important step that will allow both parties to move forward and no longer need to have the same amount of contact with one another if they do not choose to.

In some cases, there is a designated end date when the payments will no longer be made. If so, then the paying spouse does not need to do anything with the court -- the payments will conclude when the date is reached. There are cases in which the supporting former spouse is subject to wage garnishment from his or her paycheck to provide for the supported former spouse. If that is the case, then it might be necessary to prepare an Earnings Assignment Order for Spousal or Partner Support. This will reflect that there is no money owed for the support. It will be given to the employer to make the needed changes and stop the wage garnishment. Some former spouses who are receiving support will start a new relationship. If they get married, then the same form must be filed again with an amount stating that $0 is left to be paid.

An "ex parte" application is also possible to end the wage assignment. This will be done if the former spouse has died, remarried or the payments were not delivered for more than six months due to the employer or the state child support agency not having the receiving spouse's new address. This too requires a form be filled out.

Some cases are amicable, and the former couple is can put the emotions to the side and move on with their lives, ending spousal support when the time comes. In other cases, the divorce legal issues are still in place, and there is the residue of bad feelings from the failed marriage making it difficult to settle these matters. When seeking to end a spousal support order, it is important to have an understanding not just of the divorce process, but also on any legal action that may need to be taken months or years after the divorce is finalized.

Source: courts.ca.gov, "Asking The Court To End A Spousal Or Partner Support Order," accessed on May 1, 2018

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