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When can you modify your spousal support order?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | divorce |

It can be stressful to navigate the financial intricacies of your divorce. Given the court’s desire to find a fair and reasonable outcome, there are bound to be certain aspects of your divorce that you’re unhappy with. This might include matters pertaining to property division or child custody, but this is also how many people feel about the result of their spousal support dispute.

But even if you think that your alimony argument was settled in a fair fashion, things can quickly change. And if you’ve been ordered to pay spousal support, there may come a point when you feel like you’re being cheated out of your hard-earned cash.

Can you modify your spousal support obligation?

Yes, if the facts warrant a modification. But if you feel like a modification is justified, you need to have evidence to support your request. You can’t simply expect the court to take you at your word.

So, when can you successfully seek an alimony modification? Here are some instances that might justify action:

  • Change in your income: A spousal support award is going to be based, in part, on your income. Therefore, if you face a sudden loss of income, such as if you’re demoted or let go from your job, you might struggle to meet your obligation. Here, a court might find that a reduction in your payment amount is necessary. Just keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to reduce your spousal support payment if you voluntarily reduced your income, as the court will probably view that as a sneaky way to try to escape paying what you owe.
  • Your health declines: If you’re hit with an unexpected medical condition, you might need to redirect some of your funds toward your treatment and care. This can persuade a court to reduce your payments so that you have the funds you need to take care of yourself.
  • Your former spouse enters a new relationship: An alimony award is aimed at supporting your former spouse until they can become self-sufficient. But if your spouse is in a new relationship, especially if it involves cohabitation, you might be able to successfully argue that your support payments are no longer needed. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for signs that your former spouse is being financially supported by someone else.
  • Your former spouse’s financial picture improves: If your spouse obtains training, education, or a new job, they might be in a better financial position than they were in when you first got divorced. You could use their improved situation to show that they’re now self-sufficient and no longer in need of financial support. To better determine this, you might want to ask your former spouse about the steps that they’ve taken to become self-sufficient. If they’re unwilling to have that conversation with you, you might be able to use legal maneuvers to gain access to the information that you need.

Are you ready to fight to protect your financial wellbeing?

Long-term alimony payments can devastate your financial stability. But you don’t have to sit back and let that happen to you. Instead, you can keep yourself up to date on your former spouse’s financial situation so that you can present compelling arguments to the court to reduce or even completely eliminate your payments.

If you want to make sure you present the strongest arguments possible, you might want to think about developing your legal strategy with an attorney who knows the intricacies of this area of the law. Hopefully then you can obtain a fair outcome and reclaim your financial future.