Alimony and Spousal Support Modifications
Securing your financial future
Our financial lives can be unpredictable—people get promotions, lose jobs, remarry, and more. However, if you’re making or receiving alimony payments, these changes can have an even greater impact.
If your circumstances have changed and your alimony agreement no longer seems reasonable, it could be time to seek an alimony modification.
At Jacobs Berger, our alimony modification attorneys have decades of combined experience in helping clients successfully modify alimony agreements.
We recognize that each person and situation is different and that one person’s change of circumstance may not be considered one in another family. We listen carefully to your goals and concerns while proactively keeping you updated throughout the process.
If you’re seeking an alimony modification, contact us for a strategic planning session. Our knowledgeable family law attorneys can guide you through the process.
Modifications to Alimony and Spousal Suppor
Alimony can be a hotly contested issue during the divorce process. What’s more, even the most carefully considered alimony arrangements might not hold up over time as financial circumstances for both parties change.
If a dependent party has lost their home or a supporting party has lost their job, the original alimony agreement might not reflect current financial circumstances, opening the question of whether it’s time to ask for an alimony modification.
Our divorce and alimony attorneys are experienced at helping clients successfully navigate alimony modifications because of unpredictable life changes, whether the resolution is through negotiation or filing or defending against court applications.
At Jacobs Berger, our family law team understands that every person’s situation is different and that circumstances can change unexpectedly.
Whether you’re seeking an alimony modification or looking to keep things status quo, we prioritize your goals and needs. As with all our clients, we’ll proactively keep you updated on the progress of your case.
When Can I Change My Alimony Agreement?
Generally speaking, someone can’t file an application seeking an alimony modification just because they’re unhappy with the order. The goal is to work out an equitable arrangement in the original alimony agreement. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that you work with an experienced divorce attorney during the divorce process.
However, if you or the other party experience a permanent and unpredictable change in financial circumstances, you may be able to petition for an alimony modification.
What Counts as a Change in Circumstance?
There’s no pre-set list of what counts as a change in circumstance that may result in an alimony modification.
That said, the dependent party most frequently requests alimony modifications for situations such as:
- The loss of a home
- An increase in the supporting party’s income
- A significant decrease in the supported party’s income or loss of employment
- An increase in the cost of living
On the other hand, the supporting party often seeks a modification when:
- The dependent party remarries or cohabitates with another adult
- The supporting party loses their job or suffers a substantial and involuntary decrease in income
- The supporting party retires
- The dependent party secures employment or an increase in income
- The dependent party refuses to seek employment or job training
- An injury or illness changes the supporting party’s financial circumstances
The common ground between all of these circumstances is that they’re involuntary or unexpected.
Big financial shifts that result in modified alimony generally come from situations that an individual doesn’t necessarily control. For instance, the supporting party might successfully request an alimony modification if they retire at age 65 because of medical issues. However, modifying alimony payments because they decided to retire early at the age of 50 would be less likely to succeed.
The Alimony Modification Process
Before filing an application seeking an alimony modification, it may be possible to settle the matter between you and the other party.
If you and the other party can agree on how to modify your alimony agreement, you can submit this agreement to the courts as a consent order, allowing you to modify your order without court intervention.
However, if you don’t agree on the alimony modification request, you’ll need to petition the court for a change. If this is the case, the burden of proof is on the person seeking to modify the alimony agreement to demonstrate that circumstances have changed.
You’ll need to prove not only that your circumstance has changed permanently but also why that change calls for an alimony modification.
If you’re facing an application for alimony modification from the other party, it’s crucial that you speak with an experienced family law attorney to understand your options better and protect your rights and needs.