A court order to pay spousal support might impact your life for many years to come. Your compliance may reduce tension between you and your ex, as well as prevent ongoing legal hardships.
Budgeting spousal support could get easier over time. However, if you encounter financial difficulties, paying your ex might quickly fall to the bottom of your list of priorities.
Communicate your situation
Job loss is a common reason why people cannot pay spousal support. If you find out you have no job, you probably feel justified to skip making payments. However, the worst way to handle this situation is to ignore it completely. At the earliest sign of trouble, reach out to your ex and explain the challenges currently affecting you.
You will also want to notify the courts of your hardships. Taking a proactive approach and communicating with others can help you maintain a reputation of responsibility and integrity. This type of behavior might support your effort to modify your agreement if you choose to pursue that.
Consider a modification
There is no one-size-fits-all approach for spousal support. According to The California Courts, your alimony agreement might follow a temporary timeline or it may take effect permanently. Understand the type of agreement you have so you can identify a good strategy prior to requesting a modification.
Collaborating with your legal team could enlighten you to solutions that will alleviate some of your stress. If you successfully modify your court order, you may have enough flexibility to get back on your feet and resume your spousal support responsibilities. You might also consider a modification if your ex reaches a point where you feel the need for spousal support is no longer necessary.