Featured News 2016 Can Spousal Support Be Changed?

Can Spousal Support Be Changed?

When couples divorce, they will consider whether alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, should be awarded. Each couple's financial situation is different, so the courts do not take a "one size fits all" approach to alimony.

Alimony is usually awarded when one spouse is unemployed or underemployed, or when there is a significant difference in the spouses' incomes. In fact, a lower-earning spouse can even be awarded spousal support when they have a full-time job, especially when they earn a lot less than their husband or wife.

Generally, the paying spouse is eager to end their spousal support payments sooner than later. In contrast, the receiving spouse is often motivated to continue the payments for as long as possible.

When Circumstances Change

There is one thing that's for certain and that is that after a divorce, circumstances change for both spouses. For instance, a supported spouse may go to college for the first time in their lives, earn a degree and get a high-paying job, or they can remarry.

On the other hand, the paying spouse may have a significant increase in income, or they may become disabled and go on disability. Or, they may lose their job.

Circumstances such as these may warrant a modification in spousal support, especially if there has been a significant change, such as a remarriage or a job loss. In such cases, either spouse has the right to ask the court for a modification of spousal support.

Usually, the receiving spouse asks for an upward modification and the paying spouse asks for a downward modification, or the petitioner asks the court to terminate the payments altogether. While it depends on the state, spousal support can usually be terminated under the following circumstances:

  • Either spouse dies
  • The supported spouse remarries
  • A court order say it ends
  • The supported spouse cohabitates with a new romantic partner (depends on state law)

If you are interested in having your spousal support payments modified or terminated, contact a local family law attorney in our directory!

Related News:

Is Dissolution the Same as Divorce?

It’s a common question. Dissolution is normally regarded as a divorce in most states. In fact, a divorce starts when one spouse files a petition of dissolution of the marriage. This petition is ...
Read More »

Can You Settle your Child Custody as Fast as Holmes and Cruise?

When Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorced only a month ago, the press went wild. Everyone wanted to cover the story, and find out where their 6-year-old daughter Suri would spend the majority of her ...
Read More »

Marrying Debt: How Newlyweds Negotiate Debts

If you are planning to marry, you may inherit your spouse's debts in addition to his or her partnership. You will be liable for your loved one's debts if you live in a "community ...
Read More »