Alimony, also known as spousal support, is not set in stone and can be modified under certain circumstances. If you are no longer able to make these payments, it is important to file a request to modify them. Choosing to stop making payments is not a valid option and, in fact, you will still be responsible to make any payments you miss. Therefore, it is imperative that you act as quickly as possible.
Common Reasons Alimony Can Be Modified
Generally, these requests are only granted if there has been a significant change in circumstances.
Here are some of the circumstances under which alimony can be modified:
- You and your spouse are in agreement: In cases where spouses are on amicable terms and are able to reach an agreement to reduce the spousal support order, the process is far less complicated and much faster than having to request it from a judge. That said, you will still have to obtain the court’s approval in order to ensure the new order is enforceable. Never settle for an informal agreement with your former spouse. He or she can have a change of heart at any time, which can seriously backfire on you.
- You are experiencing a temporary hardship: Even if you cannot obtain a permanent modification of the support order, you might be able to get a temporary one. If you lost your job or are experiencing some serious medical issues that can ultimately be resolved, a judge would likely grant a temporary modification of your alimony payments until your situation improves and you are able to resume payments.
- Your former spouse is cohabitating with a new partner: Spousal support is designed to help the receiving spouse maintain the same standard of living. However, if your former spouse lives with a new partner, the assumption is that they will be able to combine their resources and spousal support payments will no longer be necessary. If your ex-spouse remarries, this would likely be enough to terminate alimony.
- You are disabled: If you were to develop a disability and are no longer able to support yourself, you can request a modification to eliminate or reduce spousal support.
- You remarried and started a family: The court does not expect you to maintain two separate households and, as such, will allow you to reduce your payments, making it easier for you to support the new family you are growing.
Modify Your Alimony Order - Call Today
If you recently experienced a substantial change in circumstances, which would prevent you from continuing to make spousal support payments, you need to obtain skilled legal guidance as soon as possible to have the order modified. At Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC, our alimony attorneys have the knowledge and experience to guide you through this process, so you are no longer burdened by payments you cannot make. Put your trust in a team that has a history of proven success.