How Do I Modify a Spousal Support Order?

If you have a spousal support order in place and your circumstances change, you may need to modify a spousal support order. The court will initially order spousal support at the time of divorce and the support order may call for one spouse to temporarily or permanently pay alimony or maintenance to the other. However, there may come a time when circumstances make the original court order unfair or inadequate. When this happens, the person who wants the change will need to petition the court to modify a spousal support order. money:business

An experienced Latham, NY divorce and family law attorney can help those who are seeking to modify a spousal support order. Call or contact Latimer / Stroud, LLP today for help if you need your alimony order changed.

How to Modify a Spousal Support Order

It is possible to modify a spousal support order if circumstances change in a way that substantially alters the financial situation of either the spouse who was paying support or the spouse who was receiving support.  The person with the changed circumstances may request a modification or a termination of maintenance if the change in circumstances mean that the existing spousal support order no longer makes sense.

The person who is seeking to modify a spousal support order has the burden of proving to the court why a change is necessary. The court will consider a number of different factors in making a decision regarding whether the support amount should be changed. For example, some different situations that could result in a spousal support order being modified include:

  • The spouse who is paying spousal support loses a job involuntarily and is not earning income.
  • The spouse who is paying spousal support becomes seriously ill with a long-term or permanent debilitating condition and is no longer casino online able to pay spousal support.
  • The spouse who is paying spousal support experiences an involuntary career setback and his or her earnings / earning potential significantly decreases.
  • The spouse who is receiving spousal support obtains employment that results in a substantial increase in his or her income.
  • The spouse who is receiving support experiences an involuntary negative change in his or her financial affairs. Examples may include a sudden increase in taxes or prices, a severe economic downturn that reduces employment opportunities, or a serious illness that is costly to treat.
  • The spouse who is receiving support receives a substantial inheritance or influx of money that makes it possible for him or her to sustain a higher standard of living without spousal support.
  • The spouse who is receiving support begins a new relationship that reduces his or her financial needs.
  • The spouse who is paying support reaches retirement age and/or experiences a substantial decline in income as a result of a good faith retirement.

In order for a paying spouse to have his support obligations lowered, the decline in income or change in circumstances must have been involuntary or in good faith. A person cannot willfully refuse to take work or intentionally reduce his or her income to avoid paying support.

If you need assistance taking legal action to modify a spousal support order, Latimer / Stroud, LLP is here to help. Call today to speak with a Latham, NY divorce and family law attorney who can provide you with the legal representation you need to have the best chance of making a change.

Suzanne Latimer

Suzanne Latimer

Suzanne graduated cum laude in 1992 and was admitted to practice in Massachusetts that year and New York the following year. After graduation, Suzanne worked for twelve years as a solo practitioner, concentrating in the areas of Family and Matrimonial Law. Since 2005, Suzanne has served as Managing Partner at Latimer/Stroud, LLP.
Suzanne Latimer