Generally, when the child reaches the age of eighteen and has graduated from high school, child support payments end. This can be especially worrisome for ex-spouses that have been receiving child support and the end of such support can have a financial impact where the now-adult child is still living in the house. Let’s look at the effect of child support ending on the spousal support (alimony) payments.
Spousal Support Is Different Than Child Support
While both of these types of support are paid by one spouse to the other after a divorce, each of them serves very different purposes. Child support is the payment by one spouse to the other spouse to maintain the child’s health and welfare and necessities of life. Spousal support, on the other hand, is one spouse’s payment to the other spouse for that spouse to take care of himself or herself from that money.
Can The Spousal Support Be Increased By Courts After Termination of Child Support?
Orange County family laws allow that the party receiving child support spouse can return to the court and ask for an increase in the amount of spousal support if the child support has been terminated, because the termination of child support is generally considered a “substantial change of circumstances” that may justify an upward modification of spousal support. Hence, the spousal support order can be increased by the court on the request of the spouse, unless:
- The order for the marital settlement or the judgment order by the court makes it impossible to make modifications in the spousal support order
- The spouse during the court proceedings had waived of the right to receive spousal support or the court had deemed that she can’t claim it
- If the Judge has already provided an alternative for the phase after the child support ends
- The spousal support had already run out, expired or been terminated before the child support had ended.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.