Can I modify my spousal support obligation if I move out of state and get a lower paying job?

My ex-wife is 100% disabled and has state assistance. It is getting to be too expensive in CA for me to live here with my new wife and our 2 children. Is moving out of state a legal reason to modify support? My income would be 50% of what it is now but my quality of life would improve, as it would for my children.

Asked on January 13, 2019 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, improving your life is NOT grounds to modify the assistance you pay. The law does not let you use your own voluntary action, such as a voluntary reduction in income or increase in your expenses, to reduce your obligation to your ex-spouse. Only factors beyond your control (e.g. if you became disabled and could not work; if you were involuntarily laid off and after several months and showing your efforts to find a new job, could only find work  at much lower salary, such as if your career has been replaced or superceded by technology) would justify a reduction in support.


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