As your situation changes, so can your alimony payments. What was once a reasonable amount to pay your ex-spouse, may have recently become a real struggle. Fortunately, the same court that ordered you to pay alimony also recognizes that in certain situations, it may be necessary to reduce it.
When your ability to pay alimony is diminished, either as the result of job loss, a disability or another life event, you may be able to request a reduced amount for the term of the order. As alimony is designed to bridge the income gap between spouses, it may also be modified to reflect any change in that.
In the event you have lost your job or have taken a significant pay reduction, you may request a recalculation of alimony. This, generally speaking, is one of the most common reasons for a request to reduce alimony. In order for a family court to agree to the recalculation, the job loss or pay reduction must have come involuntarily, meaning you did not simply quit your job to avoid paying alimony.
Being ordered to pay alimony does not stop you from moving on with your life. In the event you have remarried and had a child, you may request a reduction in alimony. A child represents a new financial obligation, and the family court typically sees this as grounds for alimony recalculation.
A request to recalculate alimony can also be made if you have fallen seriously ill or suffered a disability. If you are unable to work due to these reasons a reduction in alimony can be made to reflect this reduction in income and increase in expenses. You should keep in mind, however, that just as your own disability and illness can be grounds for a reduction in alimony, your ex-spouses illness or disability may also be seen as grounds for an increase in alimony.
There is no exact formula used when calculating alimony payments. If you are concerned with your obligation to pay alimony or are concerned with changes in your financial situation that may impact your ability to pay alimony, you may benefit from speaking to an attorney.