Alimony, which is also known as spousal support, is typically awarded to a lesser-earning spouse at the end of a marriage. Alimony amounts are generally calculated during the divorce process, and the alimony may be paid for a limited period or virtually indefinitely, depending on the situation.
There are important alimony laws that impact when alimony should be modified, which can mean increasing, decreasing or stopping payments entirely. Because this payment is so important (and, often, contentious) you should know more about why modifications can happen — whether you expect to pay alimony or receive it.
When would you modify alimony?
There are several times when you would potentially want to alter alimony payments. For example:
- If the spouse receiving alimony gets engaged or married, then the spouse paying alimony may request to stop making payments.
- If the spouse receiving alimony gets a large raise, then the amount of alimony they are paid may be reduced in some circumstances.
- If the spouse paying alimony loses their job, then alimony payments may need to be reduced or stopped.
- The recipient spouse begins a new relationship and starts living with their new partner.
These aren’t all of the possible situations that would suggest needing to alert the support arrangements, but these do come up often.
Any change in circumstances can lead to alimony modification
Generally speaking, you can’t modify an alimony order over temporary changes — good or bad — in either party’s financial circumstances. Nor can you usually obtain a modification when the changes to one party’s finances are modest. Any big change to either your income or your needs, however, could qualify.
If you think it may be time to talk about an alimony modification, talk to an experienced attorney today.