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Alimony: What Is a Change of Circumstance?

Posted on July 21st, 2020 by Oddo & Babat, P.C.

Divorce Attorney

After a divorce, you may be ordered to pay spousal support or alimony. Often, this is only temporary support until your ex-spouse can support him or herself. Some circumstances can change the order, however. You may be able to reduce your alimony payments if there is a change of circumstance. A changed circumstance may be your spouse increasing his or her income, but it can also refer to several different life events.

Cohabitation With a Partner

It is normal to move on after a divorce. When your ex-spouse moves in with another person, however, it could change the need for alimony. If he or she is in a serious relationship and begins cohabitating with another person, you may be able to request a stop to alimony or spousal support payments.

Disabilities That Affect Income

If something happens and you are unable to support yourself because of a mental or physical condition, you may be able to have your alimony reduced. You cannot always control your life’s circumstances. If you cannot support yourself, then you will not be able to keep up with your alimony payments. You can request that your payments are reduced or in some cases, you may even be able to stop paying support altogether.

Financial or Medical Emergency

Emergencies happen. You can’t predict when you’re going to have sudden costs. For a lot of people, medical bills can be devastating. If you are in an accident or suffer a medical emergency, you could end up with catastrophic medical costs. If this happens, you can request that you pay less so that you can handle other bills.

New Child Support Obligations

If you recently had a child outside your prior marriage, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your alimony payments. Your child is your priority. In the eyes of the court, your financial obligation to your children will always come first. If you have a child, you can request a reduction in your payments. Now, this only counts towards your children. If you enter a relationship and there are stepchildren, it does not affect your alimony payments.

If you believe that you should have reduced alimony or should not have to pay altogether, do not simply stop paying. You must continue to follow the court order until instructed otherwise. Consult with a divorce lawyer, like a divorce lawyer from Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols, to decide what your next course of action should be and how to reduce your alimony payments.

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