Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Does spousal support have to stay constant?

It is a fact of life that nothing is constant and that one's circumstances can change at any moment. Spousal support, if any, is established by using the financial figures supplied during divorce proceedings. New Jersey divorcees may be glad to know that an application can be made to a divorce court to alter the order for support should their financial position change.

A request can be made to change the amount paid as alimony, or even eliminate it.  On the other side, the amount paid as support to an ex-spouse can also be increased. The main consideration is that a substantial change in circumstances must have taken place, which has led to a situation where the ex-spouse has become impaired or unable to make a living.

Changes in conditions may be brought about by retirement, unemployment, disability, illness, etc. which may all be a proper basis for a court to consider reducing the amount of alimony paid. The same holds true when the financial situation of one of the ex-spouses improves dramatically through inheritance. A court may also be willing to consider decreasing or stopping support payments should it come to light that the recipient of the alimony is financially supported by a new partner, living with a new partner or making no attempt to find a job.

It is important to realize that the burden to prove the change in situation lies with the person attempting to change the support order made by the court. New Jersey divorcees who seek a reduction in spousal support payments may benefit from consulting with a family law lawyer for advice on what evidence may be needed. A family law attorney has the necessary experience to guide one on the best way forward.

Source:, "Reducing Alimony," Jodee Redmond, accessed on Aug. 2, 2017

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