No one is ever happy about having to make regular alimony payments to their
former spouse. However, you cannot reduce them simply because it is frustrating.
On the other hand, if your circumstances changed substantially, it is
possible that a judge might modify or eliminate these payments entirely.
For example, if you recently lost your job and the loss was not voluntary,
a judge might temporarily reduce your payments until you find a new job
that allows you to fulfill this obligation.
What is Considered a Substantial Change?
As mentioned above, a judge will not modify your spousal support payments
if there is no reason to. Something, whether it be employment, health,
or remarriage, must occur to warrant the change.
Below is a more in-depth look at what constitutes a substantial change
Cohabitation or remarriage: If your former spouse remarries, this will automatically terminate alimony
payments. However, if your ex is merely living with a new partner, the
court might not automatically terminate these payments. You must prove
that your ex is receiving monetary support from the new partner and, if
successful, a judge might reduce or eliminate alimony payments.
You involuntarily lost your job: The word “involuntary” is key in this substantial change in
circumstances. If you voluntarily left your job to avoid making alimony
payments, a judge will not reduce your payments.
You received an involuntary wage deduction: If you were demoted, resulting in lower wages, a judge will reduce your
alimony payments to accommodate this change.
You developed a disability or illness: If you recently developed a disability or an illness that prevents you
from working, you might also receive a reduction or termination of alimony
payments due to your inability to maintain gainful employment.
Your former spouse’s income increased: If your former spouse is now able to better support himself or herself
a judge will grant a reduction in your alimony payments, assuming your
former spouse’s wage increase is substantial. A judge will not grant
a reduction of your alimony payments for minor adjustments.
Regardless of the change in circumstances you recently experienced, you
must seek skilled legal guidance to help you navigate this process and
ensure the best possible results.
Speak to a Knowledgeable Member of Our Family Law Team!
If you believe you deserve a reduction or termination of your alimony payments
due to a substantial change in circumstances, reach out to the skilled
team at the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny for the legal guidance you
need. Backed by more than three decades of collective legal experience
in family law and a proven history of success, you can rely on us for
the help you need to take on even the most complex family law matter.
Life changes and sometimes court orders must be modified to accommodate
these changes, so do not hesitate to take legal action.
Contact our law office today at (713) 936-2300 to set up a consultation with an
experienced member of our legal team.