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Spousal Support Modification Support Appeal


To understand how a San Diego or greater California spousal support modification appeal arises it is important to discuss the statutory scheme and the chanced circumstances rule. California Family Code section 3651 creates a statutory presumption that a spousal support order may be modified. Generally, spousal support awards and agreements, temporary as well as ‘permanent,’ are modifiable throughout the support period except as otherwise provided by agreement of the parties. An order made pursuant to this chapter may be modified or terminated at any time except as to an amount that accrued before the date of the filing of the notice of motion or order to show cause to modify or terminate.


Unlike child support jurisdiction, spousal support jurisdiction does not necessarily continue postjudgment and may be divested by the terms of the order. Unless jurisdiction to award spousal support has been either expressly reserved by the order or impliedly reserved, postjudgment spousal support is limited by the stated duration of the order. There is an implied statutory retention of jurisdiction in cases where there has been a lengthy marriage. In marriages of ‘long duration’ (presumptively 10 years or longer), the court is deemed to retain spousal support jurisdiction ‘indefinitely’ (notwithstanding the absence of an express reservation of jurisdiction) absent written agreement of the parties to the contrary or a court order terminating spousal support.





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(858) 602-9229


Dennis Temko, Esq.

Law Office of Dennis Temko
12636 High Bluff Dr. Ste 200
San Diego CA, 92130




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Generally a party who seeks a spousal support modification order must prove a material change of circumstances has occurred since the last order. “Change of circumstances” means a reduction or increase in the supporting spouse's ability to pay and/or an increase or decrease in the supported spouse's needs. A San Diego or greater California trial court considering whether to modify a spousal support order considers the same criteria set forth in California Family Code section 4320 as it considered in making the initial order. The court may consider all factors affecting need and the ability to pay. Whether a spousal support modification is warranted depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case, and its propriety rests in the sound discretion of the trial court.


The spousal support modification appeal begins when either the supported of supporting party is unhappy with the court’s modification order. The party who wishes to appeal the order has the burden to show that the trial court abused its discretion. I do not take every modification appeal. I need to evaluate the merits of your San Diego or greater California spousal support modification appeal to determine whether an appeal is worthwhile. I take many considerations into account. For appellant’s these considerations include the legal error the trial court committed, the likelihood of reversal or remand, and cost in relation to recovery. Another consideration is whether the order is appealable at all.


I represent appellants and respondents from San Diego as well as the greater California trial courts. If you would like to discuss your possible spousal support modification appeal and its merits, please contact by the means indicated to the right or on my contact page.

Viewing the presentations, articles, other content, or contacting me/you through my web site does not establish an attorney client relationship. I will not file a notice of appeal nor calculate the time in which a notice of appeal must be filed by until I have received a signed retainer agreement.  Warning, the time from which to file a notice of appeal is statutory. The time in which you have to appeal may pass between when you first contact me and when an attorney client relationship is formed upon when I receive a signed retainer agreement .  Until a retainer agreement is signed and received by me, it is YOUR responsibility to insure your appeal is filed within the statutory period.  The articles on this website are not legal advice and should not be used in lieu of an attorney.  The accuracy of articles and information on this site cannot be relied upon.

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