When you and your spouse got divorced, the court ordered one of you to pay alimony.
Can your alimony be modified? Changed?
Not all types of alimony can be modified; only permanent periodic alimony and rehabilitative alimony can be modified.
Here are four situations that could lead to an alimony modification.
Circumstances Have Changed
If the recipient of the alimony remarries or registers as a domestic partner, this will necessitate an alimony modification.
Alimony is only paid on a permanent basis until the supported spouse remarries, lives with another person for at least 90 days, or until either spouse dies.
Financial Ability has Changed
If the provider loses their job or they get a decrease in pay, they may ask for alimony modifications. They will need to prove that their pay is less and that they can no longer pay the current amount of alimony and still be able to support themselves. On the other hand, if the recipient loses their job or gets a decrease in pay, they can ask for alimony modifications.
If the supporting spouse is retiring, then they may ask for alimony modifications. The court will consider the following:
- whether retirement was contemplated when alimony was awarded;
- the age of the supporting spouse;
- the health of the supporting spouse;
- whether the retirement is mandatory or voluntary;
- whether retirement would result in a decrease in the supporting spouse’s income; and
- any other factors the court sees fit to evaluate.
Rehabilitative Amount has Changed
As the recipient, if you are receiving vocational training or you have gone back to school to gain skills and education necessary to be able to support yourself, and the amount you need to for that purpose has changed, you can ask for alimony modifications.
You would need to be able to prove that you need further support and that the only way to be able to support yourself is to complete the training or schooling.
Your spouse can also ask for alimony modifications if you have completed your degree or training.
Things to Understand
Here is a cheat sheet of bullet points for you on this topic:
- You or your spouse must prove that there has been a significant change in circumstances to justify alimony modifications.
- Alimony modifications will only be made for unanticipated changes in circumstances. This means that it was a change that neither party expected to happen when the original agreement for alimony was made.
- Once the court determines they can modify your alimony, they must consider the same factors that were used for the original alimony order to decide what the new order should be.
- Alimony modifications can be either permanent or temporary depending on the reasoning behind the modification.
- We will help you figure this out. Contact us to help with your alimony modifications.