What Do I Need to Modify Spousal Support?

There are several reasons a former spouse might want to modify spousal support payments. If your financial circumstances recently changed, your health took a turn for the worse, or if you’ve experienced any other number of noteworthy changes, it could impact your spousal support arrangement. Your ability to pay or your financial need may shift as time goes on, and when that happens you might need to modify your support order.

Thankfully, the court understands that life is ever-changing and the spousal support order that worked for you after your divorce might not be suitable in the long-term. As such, a judge will grant modifications under certain circumstances.

Common Reasons for Modifying Spousal Support

Generally, a judge will grant a spousal support modification if there was a substantial change in circumstances for either party.

Below are some of the most common reasons for modifying spousal support in the state of New York:

  • Either party’s income changed by at least 15%
  • Three years passed since the spousal support order was initially established or modified
  • Either party involuntarily lost a job
  • There was an increase in the cost of living
  • Either party experienced an unexpected financial or medical emergency
  • There was a change in state spousal support laws

Additionally, if the receiving party cohabitates with a new romantic partner, spousal support can be terminated. However, it is often difficult to prove that a couple is living as a married couple does, especially if the payee is trying to avoid the termination of his or her spousal support payments. If your former spouse were to remarry, spousal support payments would automatically be terminated, unless otherwise stated in a prenuptial agreement.

It is also important to note that the payer cannot avoid fulfilling this obligation by quitting his or her job. Job loss can only result in a reduction of spousal support payments if it was involuntary, such as a lay-off. If either party develops a serious illness or disability, these changes in circumstances can result in an increase or decrease of spousal support payments as well.

If you and your former spouse are able to agree on the changes you wish to make to the spousal support order, it will certainly make life easier for you. However, you still need to go through official channels to avoid running into any unnecessary obstacles if your ex reconsiders. A verbal agreement with your spouse may not hold up in court and you could still be on the hook for any missed payments.

Speak to an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today!

If you need to modify your spousal support payments to accommodate recent changes in your life, contact our knowledgeable team at Hedayati Law Group P.C. for the exceptional legal services you need to protect your interests. Our team has over 150 years of combined legal experience, so you can trust your case will be in the best hands.

Contact our law office today at (631) 880-6440 to set up a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your post-divorce modification case!