When a couple gets divorced, it is common for the more well-off party to pay alimony, also known as spousal support, to help the other party maintain the standard of living they had during the marriage. Of course, our financial circumstances are never permanent and anything can change, warranting a modification of your alimony payments. If your situation changed substantially, you can petition the court for a modification of your alimony payments.
Negotiating with Your Former Spouse
Before you take the matter to court, you should consider talking to your former spouse about lowering your payments. If you can work out an agreement, you will not have to waste your time in court. However, you must still put the agreement in writing and have it approved by the court to ensure it is enforceable.
Did My Circumstances Change Significantly?
Generally, the court will not reduce alimony payments unless the circumstances of one or both parties changed significantly. Therefore, unless you can prove there was a major change since the order was initially created, it is unlikely a judge will grant your request.
Below are some examples of situations in which a judge will grant a reduction of alimony payments:
- You involuntary lost your job
- You involuntary took a pay cut
- You developed a disability that will prevent you from performing the same job or keep you out of the workforce altogether
- Your former spouse remarried or is living with a new partner
- Your former spouse’s income increased significantly
If you are requesting a reduction of your alimony payments because your former spouse’s income increased, the increased amount must be substantial. A judge will not reduce your payments just because your ex received a minor cost of living adjustment.
Moreover, if you voluntarily left your job or took on fewer duties, resulting in a pay cut, a judge will not reduce your payments.
Schedule a Consultation with a Knowledgeable Member of Our Legal Team Today!
If you are having difficulties fulfilling your alimony payments due to a change in circumstances, you can petition the court for a reduction. At Goldweber Epstein LLP, our family law team has more than 30 years of collective legal experience assisting clients in obtaining modifications and will work diligently on your behalf to secure the results you need. With our knowledgeable team on your side, you can feel confident that your concerns will always be addressed and your unique goals and needs will be met.
Get started on your post-divorce modification case today and reach out to our law office at (917) 809-7669 to set up an initial consultation with a trusted member of our family law team and learn more about what we can do for you.