Can I Modify My Spousal Support Payments?

Spousal support is a crucial issue in a divorce. However, financial situations often change and the support order was originally ordered may not always work for your changed circumstances. Therefore, it is possible to make modifications to the support order to ensure it is still appropriate for both parties. Before you petition the court, however, you should consider discussing the matter with your former spouse. It could save you some time if you are able to reach an agreement, but be sure to obtain the court’s approval.

Modifying the Spousal Support Order

If working out a modification with your former spouse is not possible, you can petition the court with your request. Generally, a judge will only grant a modification if the petitioning party can prove a substantial change in circumstances.

Below are some examples of situations in which your request may be granted:

  • The paying or receiving party became involuntarily unemployed or received a significant pay cut.
  • The paying or receiving party developed a disability or condition that prevents gainful employment.
  • The receiving party remarried or lives with a new romantic partner.
  • The paying or receiving party received a substantial increase in pay.

If the petitioning party is requesting a reduction in alimony payments, it will not be successful if that person intentionally became unemployed to reduce the order. The change in circumstances must be involuntary. Therefore, if you attempt to petition the court after voluntarily quitting your job, you will likely still be on the hook for the original support order.

If you or your former spouse’s income changed, the amount must be significant. If the change was marginal or just a minor cost of living adjustment, it is unlikely a judge will grant a modification to your spousal support order.

Discuss the Details of Your Spousal Support Modification Case with an Experienced Attorney!

If your circumstances vastly changed since your spousal support order was created, you should consult with an experienced attorney to pursue a modification. At Arnel Law Firm, our family law team has more than four decades of experience and a proven track record of successful results advocating on behalf of our clients. You can rely on us to help you obtain a post-divorce modification that best suits your changed circumstances.

Reach out to our law office today at (718) 550-3024 to set up a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys and learn more about what we can do for you.