Yes, you are on the right track. The law requires the evidence to show a substantial likelihood that the spouse could, with reasonable effort, produce income. This is done through the retention of a vocational evaluator. California Family Code 4331(a) states:
In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, the court may order a party to submit to an examination by a vocational training counselor. The examination shall include an assessment of the party’s ability to obtain employment based upon the party’s age, health, education, marketable skills, employment history, and the current availability of employment opportunities. The focus of the examination shall be on an assessment of the party’s ability to obtain employment that would allow the party to maintain herself or himself at the marital standard of living.
Thus, retaining a vocational evaluation is a necessary part of most imputation and earning capacity cases.
To obtain modification of a spousal support order, the moving party must show a material change in circumstances since the order was made. (Marriage of Gavron (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 705, 710.)
So, her not working has may give you this basis to file for modification.
Here are the forms that will help you get started:
- Request for Order (Form FL-300). You can use the Information Sheet for Request for Order (Form FL-300-INFO) for information to fill out FL-300.
- Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150).
- If you are changing a spousal or partner support order made as part of your divorce or legal separation judgment, or after the judgment, it may be helpful for you to use the Spousal or Partner Support Declaration Attachment (Form FL-157). This form asks you to provide the information the judge will need to make a decision in your case, addressing all the factors the law tells the judge to consider when making decisions about long-term spousal or partner support. This form is optional, but even if you do not use it, you may want to take a look at it to make sure you understand what you will have to prove to the judge.
- Also use a Declaration (Form MC-030) or an Attached Declaration (Form MC-031) if you need more space to explain why you believe a change in spousal or partner support is needed.
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