When you and your spouse settled your divorce, the amount of alimony you were awarded might have been enough. Unfortunately, circumstances can change. If the amount of alimony you receive each month is no longer enough, you may be able to receive a modification. To do so, you'll need to head back to court. It's important to note that not all requests for increased alimony will be approved. Here are four reasons why the judge might grant your request for a modification to your alimony payments.
You've Reached an Out-of-Court Agreement with Your Ex
If you and your ex are still on speaking terms, and have reached an agreement to modify your alimony payments, you should be able to submit paperwork and receive the modification. Before heading to court, you should sit down with your attorney to make sure that the paperwork is in order. Even with an agreement, the judge will want to make sure that the paperwork is filled out properly, and that it's in the best interest of both parties.
You've Experienced a Temporary Hardship
Emergencies can happen. If you've experienced a temporary hardship – such as illness or loss of employment – you may be able to have your alimony payments increased until you're able to get back on your feet. You'll need to be able to provide documentation regarding the hardship. This type of modification is usually only temporary, meaning that as soon as the hardship ends, your alimony payments will return to the original amount.
You've Become Disabled
Permanent disability can leave you financially unable to provide for yourself. If you've suffered an injury – or been diagnosed with a medical condition – that will leave you unable to work, you should talk to an attorney about having your alimony payments increased. Your attorney may be able to help you receive a permanent increase in the amount of alimony you receive each month. If you have minor children, you should also ask to have your child support payments increased each month, as well.
Your Ex has a Change of Income
Your alimony payments might have been fair at the time of the divorce. However, if your ex has recently had a change of income, the amount may no longer be fitting. If your ex has had a substantial increase in their income, it might be time to renegotiate the alimony payments.
If you were awarded alimony as part of your divorce settlement, you have the right to ask for a modification when circumstances change. If you need an increase in your alimony payments, talk to your attorney about modification.