WHY MIGHT A COURT MODIFY A SPOUSAL SUPPORT ORDER?
When a court determines the amount of spousal support you must pay as part of your divorce order, it is based on the specific details of your income and ongoing expenses. However, these elements tend to change over time, and not always for the better. If life has taken a turn and now your spousal support obligations are more of a burden, you may consider requesting that the court modify your spousal support order to something more manageable.
The court considers a number of different factors when considering whether to reduce spousal support obligations. In general, the court is willing to modify spousal support if your income decreases or if you face unexpected expenses, or if your ex-spouse’s needs change.
If you lose your job or receive a cut in pay, and this was outside of your control, a court may reduce your obligation. It is important to note that courts are far less willing to do this if it looks like you voluntarily reduced your income or employment. Similarly, if you face unexpected medical expenses from an illness or injury, a court may reduce your obligation.
Changes in your ex-spouse’s circumstances can also justify a reduction in obligation. If, for instance, he or she enters another relationship and lives together with that other person as a couple, the court may recognize this as justification. Similarly, if your ex marries another person, then support is terminated in most cases. If an ex-spouse dies, this also terminates support obligations.
If you believe that your circumstances or those of your ex justify modifying your support order, be sure to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you understand the finer points of your situation and guide you through the process.
Source: FindLaw, “5 Potential Ways to Reduce Spousal Support,” accessed Sep. 27, 2017