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Can I receive more spousal support if I'm returning to school?

One of the most important parts of temporary spousal support involves helping a California spouse have the necessary time required to become financially independent. Part of the process of becoming financially independent from an ex-spouse could involve schooling to assist in finding a higher paying. However, what if you weren't in school at the time of your divorce, and now you want to go to school? Can you ask for an increase in spousal support?

If you didn't settle your spousal support agreement outside of court, you might be able to apply for a spousal support modification in court depending on your circumstances. Here are a few things a California court will consider if you're asking for more spousal support money so you can pay for school:

Are you going back to school after an involuntary loss of a job or change in employment?

  • Are you planning to voluntarily quit your job to return to school?
  • How much income are you giving up in order to return to school?
  • How long is the educational program?
  • What are the estimated costs of your educational program?
  • What is the expected benefit of completing your education?
  • Will your shared children be impacted by your decision to return to school?

Depending on how the above questions are answered, the court will make its decision following an analysis of your answers. If the court believes that the cost benefit analysis of your decision to return to school warrants increased alimony, it's possible that you will be able to receive it in some cases. However, you may need the assistance and reputation of an experienced alimony attorney to help you navigate your request in court.

Source: FindLaw, "Can I Modify Spousal Support While Going Back to School?," George Khoury, accessed Sep. 15, 2017

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