Most spousal support agreements and orders contain in them provisions that address how and when payments from one party to the other may be terminated. It is for this reason that California residents should first start with their own divorce documents to find out how their particular spousal support cases may be treated when it comes to ending a payment obligation.

Generally, though, a spousal support obligation will endure for a set period of time. That time period may be established to allow the recipient spouse to get back on their feet financially after their divorce, or to allow them to gain important and necessary skills to allow them to reenter the workforce with the capacity to earn what they need to survive.

Some spousal support obligations are taken care of in a single lump sum payment. However, most are spread out over time through the periodic payment of money from one former partner to the other. If a paying spouse or a recipient spouse experiences a change in circumstances that makes providing support cumbersome or unnecessary a court may entertain a modification to the former couple’s existing spousal support agreement or order.

A person should not simply stop paying spousal support because they do not believe that it is necessary. Penalties can be assessed against men and women who fail to meet their support obligations to their ex-spouses. As with all family law matters it is important that readers recognize the unique nature of individual spousal support cases. The contents of this post are offered as information only, and those who choose to read it should not rely upon it as legal advice.