Court Affirms Rule on Child Support Modification

Divorce can be a significant financial transaction in a couple’s life as child and spousal support obligations tend to bind ex-spouses for years. In one case, a former husband tried to alter the economic impact of a stipulated divorce judgment by returning to court after his ex-wife remarried, asking the court to terminate his spousal support obligation as is the general family law rule found in the California Family Code.

He also asked for a reduction of his child support obligations but was turned down by both the trial court and appeals court.


A couple who was married for 16 years entered into a stipulated judgment for dissolution of their marriage in 2010. At the time of the stipulated judgment, the former husband was earning approximately $1.9 million a year. He agreed to pay above guidelines child support and spousal support and also agreed to certain clauses on:

  • De novo review of child support
  • Continuing spousal support after marriage

When the former husband experienced a financial decline for four months and his wife remarried, he asked the court to terminate his spousal support obligation according to Section 4337 of the California Family Code and to reduce his child support obligations.


On the issue of child support, the appeals court ruled that the relevant Family Code provision permits a modification of the amount only upon a showing of substantial changes in circumstances of the parties. Considering the brief decline in the ex-husband’s finances and the marked improvement of his current finances, the court disallowed modification of his child support obligations.

On the issue terminating spousal support, the court said that the clause in the stipulated judgment effectively waived what could have been a normal termination of alimony under the Family Code.

Quality family law advice before making any stipulations or entering into any settlement can save you from unfavorable situations in the future.

In Los Angeles, California, the distinguished family law firm of Lavinsky Law has been providing superior legal representation to clients. Our Firm will work very hard to protect your family and your finances, helping you move on with your lives after a marriage breaks down.

We handle family law issues such as divorce, child custody, child and spousal support, post judgment modifications, and domestic violence cases.

Our attorneys invite you to call us today at (310) 929-6411 for a free consultation.