If you are paying spousal support and believe the order should be modified due to a substantial change in circumstances, you can accomplish this by either agreeing to a modification with your former spouse or petitioning the court for a modification. If you successfully negotiate a modification with your ex, this can save you time and money. However, you will need to take your agreement through the proper legal channels to ensure it is enforceable.
Petitioning the Court for Spousal Support Modification
Generally, a judge will only grant spousal support modification if there was a substantial change in circumstances. For example, if you involuntarily lost your job or your income was significantly reduced, a judge may reduce your spousal support order. In some cases, the modification may be temporary until your financial situation improves and you can resume your regular payments.
Below are some other circumstances in which a judge may modify your spousal support order:
- You developed a disability or developed a condition that prevents you from securing and maintaining gainful employment
- Your former spouse received a substantial increase in pay
- Your former spouse moved in with a new romantic partner or got remarried
If you are requesting a modification because you recently became unemployed, it is likely a judge will order a temporary modification that lasts for six months or until you can find a new job. If you cannot find a new job after six months, you can return to court to request more time. However, if you voluntarily left your job to reduce your spousal support payments, it is unlikely a judge will grant your request. You cannot reduce your spousal support payments by purposefully reducing your income.
Reach Out to Our Law Office Today to Discuss Your Post-Divorce Modification Case
If your spousal support order is no longer appropriate for your situation, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to learn more about what it takes to modify the order. At the Law Firm of Johnson & Gaskill PLLC, our family law team is committed to guiding clients through post-divorce modifications. You can rely on us to ensure you receive the best possible results for your case.
Contact our law office today at (832) 210-1698 to speak with one of our experienced family law attorneys to learn more about modifying your spousal support order. We provide free initial case reviews.