How Do You Collect or Modify Spousal Support Under California Law?

While people generally understand that spousal support is recoverable in divorce actions, few people understand or contemplate the specifics surrounding such awards until they are dealing with the impending end of their marriage. It is important for anyone who may get divorce to understand their rights and potential obligations with regard to spousal support, however. If you are considering seeking a divorce and want to learn more about regarding spousal support and whether you or your spouse may be eligible to recover it, you should read our summary below, and then contact a Bay Area divorce lawyer for more information.

Can the Department of Child Support Services help me obtain and collect on spousal support?

The California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) primarily deals with child support matters, but they can also assist in obtaining and collecting spousal support if it is part of a child support order. However, if spousal support is not included in a child support order, DCSS may not have jurisdiction to enforce it. In such cases, individuals may need to pursue enforcement through an enforcement action filed with the court that issued the order. 

How can I collect on court-ordered spousal support?

People have various options for attempting to collect on court-ordered spousal support in California. They can request wage garnishment, where the employer deducts the support amount from the obligor’s paycheck and sends it to the recipient. Additionally, they can seek enforcement through other means such as bank levies, intercepting tax refunds, or filing liens against the obligor’s property. 

Does unpaid spousal support accrue interest?

Yes, under California law, unpaid spousal support may accrue interest. The interest rate currently is 10% per year. It works similarly to interest on a credit card.

How can I decrease my spousal support obligation?

Parties seeking to decrease their spousal support obligation in California must demonstrate a change in circumstances warranting modification. Such changes could include a decrease in income, loss of employment, or changes in expenses or financial needs. To request a modification, they must file a motion with the court and provide evidence supporting their request.

Is there a way to lower the amount I owe on my spousal support?

Similarly, lowering the amount owed on spousal support in California typically involves seeking a modification of the existing support order. This can be done by demonstrating a change in circumstances that justifies a reduction, such as a decrease in the recipient’s financial needs or an increase in the payor’s financial obligations. It is essential to file a motion with the court and provide evidence supporting the requested modification. The court will then evaluate the circumstances and make a decision based on the evidence presented by both parties.

Speak with a Seasoned California Divorce Attorney

If you have questions about alimony, also known as spousal support, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney. The seasoned California divorce attorneys of Bay Area Family Law Center can assess your case and inform you of your rights. You can reach us to arrange a meeting by calling us at 925-258-2020 or by using our online form.

This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your State.

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