When spousal support is included in a divorce settlement, both parties may feel that what is ordered is what they have to live with. Many Massachusetts residents are not aware that alimony orders can be modified under the right circumstances. When is it okay to seek an alimony adjustment?
The number one reason for a payor or payee to seek an alimony adjustment is that either has experienced a change in circumstances. A good example here would be either party receiving a pay raise. If it was the payor, the payee may request a higher alimony amount. If it was the payee, the payor may request to have his or her obligation lowered. There are a number of circumstantial changes that may warrant the modification of a spousal support order, and a few others include:
- Decreased need
- Increase in living expenses
- Financial emergency
- Law changes
There are two ways to go about seeking an alimony adjustment. The first, and preferred method, would be for ex-spouses to work out a new agreement, either in private or with the assistance of legal counsel. If that fails to work in one’s case, it is okay to file an official request in court. When going this route, there will be a need to provide evidence that will support one’s position. Both parties will have a chance to present their cases for or against the modification, and then a judge will have the final say on the matter.
Achieving an alimony adjustment is not easy. Modification requests are not always granted. Massachusetts residents who believe that they meet the requirements to have their alimony orders adjusted can turn to legal counsel for assistance with negotiating new terms or taking the matter to court for formal review.