Spousal support orders are not meant to remain the same forever. There are many circumstances in life that may require a modification. For example, if a spouse became unemployed or disabled and can no longer work, these are both valid reasons that may warrant a modification of your spousal support order.
If you are on somewhat good terms with your former spouse, consider talking about a modification before taking the matter to court. If you can reach an agreement, you can save yourself some time and unnecessary frustration. However, you must still have the modification approved by the court to avoid running into any legal problems if your spouse has a change of heart.
Petitioning the Court for a Modification
If you cannot reach an agreement with your ex-spouse, you can petition the court for a modification of the spousal support order. Generally, a judge will only consider such a request if the circumstances changed substantially.
Below are some circumstances in which you may have your spousal support order modified:
- One spouse’s income substantially changes
- One spouse involuntarily loses a job or gets demoted
- The receiving spouse remarries or lives with a new romantic partner
- A cost of living increase
If you voluntarily quit your job and try to petition the court for a reduction of your spousal support order, it is unlikely a judge will grant this request. You will still have to fulfill your obligations if you try to avoid making these payments by leaving your job.
If the change in circumstances is only temporary, the modification may also be temporary. For example, if one spouse became unemployed, the modification may only last until he or she finds a new job. However, you must petition the court as soon as possible. You cannot simply stop paying spousal support.
Reach Out to a Knowledgeable Attorney to Discuss the Details of Your Case
If you need a modification to your spousal support order, you need knowledgeable legal guidance to help you navigate the process. At Conner & Roberts, PLLC, our family law team is backed by more than 40 years of experience. You can rely on our skilled Chattanooga attorneys to help you achieve the results you deserve.
You do not have to go through this on your own. Call our law office today at (423) 299-4489 to set up a consultation with a compassionate member of our family law team.