Hello! Based on the fact that you have been paying support for 5 years, and your spouse has not attempted to find substantial employment (which they were required to do so if a Gavron warning was issued) you could petition the court and ask for what we call an imputed income. Essentially, at the very least the Court would assume that she is or could obtain a minimum wage job and impute that monthly income into the dissomaster when calculating support issues. So you could move for a reduction there.
Additionally, a post judgment spousal support payment is always modifiable, unless the language says otherwise in the judgment which is rare. To get a modification you must show a material change of circumstances since the order was made which is outlined in the Gavron case you referenced. Here, your change of circumstances would be (1) that the other party has not obtained substantial employment or made the efforts, and (2) that they are now receiving an "income"
On that same note you should consider the fact that the court has held that a "change of circumstances" must be a fact which was not contemplated at the time the prior order was made. That being said, your partner may argue that you were well aware that they would be receiving this additional income eventually and you should have known about it. Marriage of Lautsbaugh (1999) 72 Cal App 4 th 1131.
On the other hand, "...the standard rule that modifications in support orders may only be granted if there has been a material change of circumstances since the last order was not designed to circumvent the goal that supported spouses become self-supporting within a reasonable period of time. In re Shaughnessy, supra, 139 Cal.App.4th at 1237, citing In re Marriage of Schaffer (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 801, 803-804.
The Schaffer case is in line with the Sheridan case you referenced.
I think your offer of reducing it to a $1000/month is more than fair, in light of the fact that you could end up paying a lot more in attorneys fees and you could (not a guarantee) ask that they terminate that day for her not becoming self supporting
If I have answered all your questions then please press accept and provide positive feedback, so I receive credit for my work. If not and you have additional questions please ask, and I will respond promptly. Please note: this is a PAID ANSWERING service, once your question has been answered, press accept. This conversation does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and is offered for informational purposes only. Lastly, sometimes it may take a moment to respond as I work with several customers at a time. Thank you and best of luck.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).