Can a change in circumstance lead to a change in alimony?

Your alimony arrangement doesn’t have to last forever. Certain types of life changes can make you eligible for an alimony modification.

Today we examine five common changes in circumstance that could make a court decide to increase, reduce or terminate your alimony:

  • Change in earnings: If the alimony recipient gets a significant pay raise, the alimony payer may request that the court reduce the required amount of alimony payment. Conversely, if the alimony payer’s income rises considerably, the alimony recipient may request a parallel rise in the alimony amount.
  • Change in expenses: The alimony recipient may request an increase in alimony if, due to inflation, the payment no longer covers the requisite cost of living.
  • Change in living arrangement: If the alimony recipient moves in with a significant other, the alimony payer may request that the alimony be reduced or terminated altogether. In this case, it is the alimony recipient’s responsibility to demonstrate to the court that the alimony is still warranted.
  • Change in marital status: If the alimony payer remarries and has a child with the new spouse, they may request a reduction in alimony payment if that payment constitutes a financial hardship. Conversely, if the alimony recipient remarries, the court may reduce or terminate the alimony.
  • Change in health: If the alimony payer becomes disabled and unable to support themselves, they may be eligible for a modification in support. If the alimony recipient becomes disabled, this condition may qualify them for an increase in alimony support.

A judge will make the final determination on whether a modification in alimony is justified. It’s a good idea to talk to a family law attorney to get a better understanding of your options.

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