Not everything decided in court for your divorce is set in concrete. Many people do not realize that although alimony is usually hotly contested, one party can go back and request that the court modify a spousal support order. However, a court does not consider a request without a significant circumstantial change.
Factors for Spousal Support Modifications
Courts have wide discretion in how they define what a “substantial change in circumstance” to warrant a change in spousal support is. First, they must consider whether the income of the spouse who is ordered to pay alimony, as indicated by their federal income tax return, has been reduced to a level that they are financially unable to pay the amount of alimony they have been ordered to pay.
The court can also consider the following factors:
- The financial condition of each spouse
- The nature and value of each spouse's property
- The contribution of each spouse to any property
- The duration of the marriage
- The income, earning capacity, age and health of each spouse
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The career of the spouse before the marriage, who would receive the alimony
- Specialized education or training or marketable skills attained by each spouse during the marriage
- The contribution of either spouse as a homemaker
- The award of property granted by the court in the divorce
- The physical and mental condition of each spouse
If you wish to modify your alimony payments, you must first discuss your situation with an experienced divorce attorney who can analyze your affairs and determine whether or not you have grounds for a modification. Next, an attorney can file a petition to the court and work to secure a modification. This process is the same whether you receive payments or make them.
Failing to make spousal support payments is a serious problem that could result in severe legal repercussions. Contact our Henderson family lawyers at McDonald Law Offices, PLLC to schedule a free consultation and ensure you follow the proper process.
Call (702) 850-8004 or contact us online for more information.