Following a divorce, it is not completely uncommon for one party to need spousal support to help him or her get back on his or her feet financially. The state of Massachusetts allows the awarding of alimony, usually on a temporary basis. After an alimony order is issued, one might think that it will be in place as is written until the term is up. The truth is, these plans can be modified or even canceled under the right circumstances.
Spousal support may be awarded to the spouse who has not been the primary breadwinner in the marriage. This individual might need money to go back to school in order to help him or her achieve a decent paying job. This individual might be used to a certain standard of living that the court says his or her former spouse needs to help him or her maintain. This individual may struggle to find work or affordable housing — among other things. Depending on one’s personal circumstances, alimony may be awarded to help one transition from married to single life, and if the amount awarded does not seem to be enough, it may be possible to ask for a support increase.
The party ordered to pay may disagree with the court order or may, at some point, feel that he or she is paying too much or should no longer have to pay. It is also possible for the paying party to seek to change or cancel the alimony order. There has to be a good reason for making such requests, though.
According to the state of Massachusetts, there is a certain process that one must go through when seeking a spousal support modification. It is suggested that both parties try to negotiate new alimony terms first. If that proves ineffective, then the party wanting the adjustment can file a petition in court. With that petition, it will be necessary to file financial statements and child support information — if applicable — and pay the filing and court fees. A judge will review the situation and decide if modifying or canceling the alimony order is appropriate.
Alimony does serve a valuable purpose. However, the state understands that, sometimes, initial orders do not always work. Massachusetts residents who have questions about alimony or need help modifying or canceling a support order can turn to legal counsel for assistance.