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  1. #1
    brokenar is offline Junior Member
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    How to get out of paying Alimony

    Enough is enough. My husband was a nice guy and volunteered to pay his ex wife alimony. She wasn't working at the time of their divorce and he did not want to leave her destitute, so he agreed to pay her a certain amount. He did not intend to pay her for the rest of his life. Their divorce degree states that he will pay her 35% of his net income until he retires, he dies, she dies, she remarries, or she co-habitates with the opposite sex for more than 30 days. It has been 10+ years since their divorce, and he has already paid her over $150,000.00.
    She has since also started collecting Social Security Disability from the Federal Government. This is really killing us financially and how long must this go on? We would like for it to end or at least be reduced by the amount of disability she is now receiving. Please Help!
  2. #2
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    To answer the question in your title: You get out of paying alimony by not getting married.

    As for the rest, have your husband post the exact wording of the divorce decree. Alimony is sometime modifiable and sometimes not, so we'll need the exact wording. But YOU are not a party to the matter.
  3. #3
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    I don't see anywhere that the OP says that SHE is required to pay alimony in the first place
  4. #4
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    You also need to understand that alimony is part of the divorce agreement and the agreement to pay alimony could have been in exchange for consideration from the other party. If so, you can't go and change just one part of the agreement without affecting other associated issues.

    Especially since the time of payment was so unlimited, I would suspect there was some consideration from the other party that resulted in this order.

    If it wasn't in exchange for something, I suggest you negotiate the car and house purchases for the two of you. He isn't very good at negotiating.
  5. #5
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenar View Post
    Enough is enough. My husband was a nice guy and volunteered to pay his ex wife alimony. She wasn't working at the time of their divorce and he did not want to leave her destitute, so he agreed to pay her a certain amount. He did not intend to pay her for the rest of his life. Their divorce degree states that he will pay her 35% of his net income until he retires, he dies, she dies, she remarries, or she co-habitates with the opposite sex for more than 30 days. It has been 10+ years since their divorce, and he has already paid her over $150,000.00.
    She has since also started collecting Social Security Disability from the Federal Government. This is really killing us financially and how long must this go on? We would like for it to end or at least be reduced by the amount of disability she is now receiving. Please Help!
    It sounds to me like the conditions for stopping alimony are very specific, and none of those conditions exist. Neither one of them has died, he has not retired, and she has not remarried nor is she cohabitating.

    Unless his orders state that the alimony is modifiable, it would appear to me that he is sol.
  6. #6
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    It sounds to me like the conditions for stopping alimony are very specific, and none of those conditions exist. Neither one of them has died, he has not retired, and she has not remarried nor is she cohabitating.

    Unless his orders state that the alimony is modifiable, it would appear to me that he is sol.
    Let's wait until we have the exact wording. The phrase that makes it modifiable is usually not in the same sentence as the one OP is quoting.
  7. #7
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    Let's wait until we have the exact wording. The phrase that makes it modifiable is usually not in the same sentence as the one OP is quoting.
    That is why I said the sentence that started with "unless".
  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    It sounds to me like the conditions for stopping alimony are very specific, and none of those conditions exist. Neither one of them has died, he has not retired, and she has not remarried nor is she cohabitating.

    Unless his orders state that the alimony is modifiable, it would appear to me that he is sol.

    Assuming that the language cited is pretty close to accurate, the mere use of the word 'unless' would not limit modifiability, at least not in California. Spousal Support is always subject to modification based upon a change in circumstances, unless the magic language is used. (i.e. "This order is not modifiable as to duration nor amount.")
  9. #9
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnforceSupport View Post
    Assuming that the language cited is pretty close to accurate, the mere use of the word 'unless' would not limit modifiability, at least not in California. Spousal Support is always subject to modification based upon a change in circumstances, unless the magic language is used. (i.e. "This order is not modifiable as to duration nor amount.")
    Sounds like you may be confusing child support with spousal support...
  10. #10
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnforceSupport View Post
    Assuming that the language cited is pretty close to accurate, the mere use of the word 'unless' would not limit modifiability, at least not in California. Spousal Support is always subject to modification based upon a change in circumstances, unless the magic language is used. (i.e. "This order is not modifiable as to duration nor amount.")
    I was speaking as to my own use of the word "unless" not any use within the language of the order.
  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    Sounds like you may be confusing child support with spousal support...
    Though I'm not sure which part of my post you thought I may have been 'confused' on, the post was accurate in all respects.
  12. #12
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnforceSupport View Post
    Though I'm not sure which part of my post you thought I may have been 'confused' on, the post was accurate in all respects.
    I understand, but this is an order that calls for him to pay 35% of his income (as opposed to a flat amount) and is very specific as to when, and under what condition it ends.

    Therefore, for example there would be no purpose in filing for a reduction if his income reduces, because the alimony would automatically reduce.
  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    I understand, but this is an order that calls for him to pay 35% of his income (as opposed to a flat amount) and is very specific as to when, and under what condition it ends.

    Therefore, for example there would be no purpose in filing for a reduction if his income reduces, because the alimony would automatically reduce.
    Well, my friend, I still disagree. 35% of a reduced amount may be more of a hardship than the same percentage of a higher amount. Or, payor's expenses may have gone up, or, payee's income gone up, or, her expenses down, any of which could still constitute a change of circumstances. Of course, that 'change' is merely the ticket in door to then argue what, if any, would be an appropriate modified amount. I'm just speaking theorethically here as to the possibilities. Nonetheless, under absolutely no circumstances is a spousal support order non-modifiable, unless it includes the specific langauge precluding same. In fact, there are cases standing for the proposition that language precluding termination, does not also preclude modification; it must be specific. The fact that the order is a Smith/Ostler type (% order), does not change this basic tenant.
  14. #14
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnforceSupport View Post
    Well, my friend, I still disagree. 35% of a reduced amount may be more of a hardship than the same percentage of a higher amount. Or, payor's expenses may have gone up, or, payee's income gone up, or, her expenses down, any of which could still constitute a change of circumstances. Of course, that 'change' is merely the ticket in door to then argue what, if any, would be an appropriate modified amount. I'm just speaking theorethically here as to the possibilities. Nonetheless, under absolutely no circumstances is a spousal support order non-modifiable, unless it includes the specific langauge precluding same. In fact, there are cases standing for the proposition that language precluding termination, does not also preclude modification; it must be specific. The fact that the order is a Smith/Ostler type (% order), does not change this basic tenant.
    I accept the law as you have explained it. I am merely pointing out that some of the common reasons for a modification to be granted would be negated, to at least some extent, by the ordering of a percentage rather than a flat amount.

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