When can I modify Alimony?  We hear that question a lot, both from the payors and the recipients.  Let’s address it one at a time.

  1. If you are the payor and want to pay less (which is usually the case) you have to show a substantial change of circumstances that is permanent in nature (not temporary) and is not voluntary.  Keep in mind that if you have a prior agreement that says it is non-modifiable, then modification is not an option.

If you have had a permanent and substantial change of circumstances such as health related issues, job loss that was not voluntary, or if the receiving party is now either remarried or in a supportive relationship, then you may be able to reduce your alimony obligation.

  1. If you are the receiving party and need more money (which is usually the case) you also have to show a substantial change of circumstances that is permanent in nature (not temporary) and not voluntary. Keep in mind that if you have a prior agreement that says it is non-modifiable, then modification is not an option.

If you are no longer able to work for health reasons (assuming you were working before), or if you no longer have the physical or emotional ability to contribute to your support or, if your ex-spouse is now enjoying a substantially higher income than he/she was at the time of the original order and you have increased needs, then you may be able to increase the amount of alimony you receive.

The area of modification of alimony is complicated and it is always better to hire an attorney, who is experienced in family law to help you through the process.

Please visit our website for more detailed information at: www.dbtracht.com.  Watch for our future blogs, as we will be posting once a week on different issues! Call us any time for more information over the phone!  We are here to help guide you and to represent you with your legal needs.