After agreeing to the terms decided upon between you and your spouse, you signed divorce papers, but as time goes by, life and circumstances change. The change may have affected your financial situation, leading you to believe you need more money to keep yourself stable.
Although divorce decrees are legally binding, you can ask the courts to alter certain areas. Spousal support is one of those for which you can request a modification.
There must be a substantial change in your financial status to justify a modification for spousal support. Judges consider different factors to decide if you meet the requirement.
These factors include:
- A change in employment
- An increase or decrease in income since the divorce order
- Not able to earn current or future earnings because of disability
- Tax implications on the support and how it could affect the overall financial situation
- The value of property owned at the time of the divorce
- The value of property gained after the divorce
Depending on the situation, there is the possibility that the courts will terminate your spousal support. Unless you and your spouse have something in writing, a judge may end the maintenance agreement obligation due to:
- Death of the ex-spouse
- Remarriage by the ex-spouse receiving support
- Cohabitation relationship by the ex-spouse receiving support
If you believe you meet the qualifications for a modification of spousal support, you can submit a petition. Remember, however, if you are the person paying maintenance, you cannot just stop making the payment or lower the amount without an agreement between you and your ex-spouse and the judge’s signature.