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Can Alimony be Modified After a Divorce?

Can Alimony be Modified After a Divorce?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is intended to help the spouse with the lower income-earning capacity maintain the living standard he or she enjoyed during the marriage. However, what might have been appropriate during the divorce process might not be appropriate years later, given the many changes life frequently doles out. If you believe your alimony payments are no longer appropriate for your circumstances, you can request a modification and, if a judge believes there was a substantial change in circumstances, your request might be granted.

Defining “Substantial Change in Circumstances”

Alimony can be increased or decreased, depending on the circumstances. Additionally, it is also possible for alimony to be either temporarily or permanently modified. For example, if the supporting party was laid off and needs time to find a new job, he or she could request alimony payments to be temporarily reduced.

However, if a supporting party voluntarily quits his or her job, it is unlikely a judge would reduce alimony payments. A substantial change in circumstances must be involuntary or unplanned.

Below are some examples:

  • Substantial raise in income
  • Inability to return to work due to injury or disability
  • Severe changes in health
  • Sizeable lottery winnings or gifts
  • Retirement
  • Involuntary job termination
  • Changes in medical insurance policy
  • One party passes away
  • The supported spouse remarries or lives with a new romantic partner

Below are some circumstances in which a modification will NOT be granted:

  • The change in circumstances is not substantial (for example, your rent increased by $50)
  • Alimony was not awarded in the first place
  • The change in circumstances was planned

If you and your former spouse are on amicable terms, you can discuss modifying your alimony payments without having to go through a lengthy process in court. However, even if you are able to reach an agreement, it is crucial to have the approved by a judge. Otherwise, if your spouse has a change of heart, you could still be on the hook for the remaining alimony you did not pay. Protect yourself and hire an experienced attorney.

Reach Out to an Experienced Alimony Attorney Today!

If you wish to modify your alimony payments, the team at Mitchell & West LLC can guide you through this process, regardless if you need your payments increased or decreased. Our team is backed by more than 100 years of combined legal experience and a reputation for success. We offer a vast range of both unconventional and conventional personalized solutions for each client we serve to ensure they secure the best possible results for their situation. We understand the great impact alimony can have on the lives of both parties and will do everything we can to secure a fair outcome that is appropriate for your circumstances.

Get started on requesting a modification of your alimony payments today and contact our law firm at (305) 783-3301 to schedule a consultation. Our staff is also fluent in Spanish.