Legal Guide

Strategies to Limit Support Payments After Divorce in California

Even after you hand over roughly 50% of your assets in a divorce, your spouse might continue to take part of your income for the foreseeable future. This may seem like a frustrating hindrance, especially as you try to re-establish your wealth and financial security after losing assets. Fortunately, there are various legal strategies that may help you reduce support payments to your ex. The most effective strategies depend on the unique circumstances of each person, so you may want to discuss your specific situation alongside a divorce lawyer in Riverside.

 Mediation or Collaborative Law

Immediately after you begin the divorce process, you can negotiate reduced support payments with your ex instead of going to court. Both spouses may mutually agree that the normal support amounts are not necessary. However, these agreements may only be legally enforceable for alimony – also known as spousal support. When it comes to child support, family courts can easily override any agreements to reduce or eliminate payments. This is because all family courts act in the child’s best interests. In any case, both spouses must agree to engage in mediation – and your ex may be totally unwilling to give up access to alimony.

Modifying Your Support Obligations

If you encounter a change in circumstance after your divorce has been finalized, you may modify existing child support or spousal support agreements. These changes in circumstances must materially affect your ability to pay the agreed sums. For example, you may lose your job. Perhaps you were replaced by artificial intelligence or robotics, making your career totally obsolete. Perhaps the divorce itself ruined your professional reputation, making it impossible to find employment in your previous field.

You may also modify support orders if you encounter a disability that leaves you unable to earn income. Another example is early retirement, which may be possible in California, depending on your profession. To determine whether a “change in circumstance” could reduce your payments, it is best to consult directly with a divorce attorney in Riverside.

Deferred Bonuses, Promotions, and Raises

If you are aware of an upcoming promotion, bonus, or raise, it is best to wait until after your divorce has been finalized to “accept” these additional sources of income. This strategy ensures that support calculations are based on your prior income – and not your raised income. Employers may agree to hold off on these rewards until after your divorce has been finalized. Stock options can also be deferred.

Find an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Riverside

Support payments can be frustrating, but they are not set in stone. There are many ways to limit, reduce, or even eliminate them. While internet research is a step in the right direction, further action is required for real results. Get in touch with an experienced Riverside divorce attorney to discuss targeted strategies based on your specific situation. Reach out to Knez Law Group or call us at 951-742-7681 today to get started.



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