When a California judge orders someone to provide financial assistance to an former wife or husband, it is usually on a temporary basis. While unique circumstances might warrant permanent payments, it is common for spousal support to last a given amount of time. The idea is to help a former spouse make ends meet until he or she is able to independently sustain his or her own financial lifestyle.

A woman in another state was always the primary breadwinner in her marriage. She was not surprised when the court ordered her to pay spousal support when she and her husband divorced. The court order stated that the support was to last five years.

Although the five years are not yet passed, the woman recently stated that she thinks her ex husband should tell the court he no longer needs her to financially support him. The reason the woman feels this way is that her ex was the recent winner of a lottery worth $273 million. She said her regular spousal support payments are merely pittance compared to his winnings.

If a person believes a change is warranted regarding a spousal support order, he or she may petition the court for modification. Unless and until the court grants or rejects the petition, payments must continue to be made on time. Anyone who fails in his or her obligation to pay spousal support may be held in contempt of court. A California family law attorney can further explain state law and provide legal guidance and support to anyone facing problems regarding such matters.