Spousal support (or “alimony”) is often a contentious issue both during and after a divorce. While it may seem like your obligation to pay is set in stone once a judge orders you to do so, that’s not necessarily the case.
There are certain extenuating circumstances in which you may be able to petition a judge to pause or terminate your spousal support payments.
How an Illness Can Affect Your Alimony Payment Obligation
Illnesses have a way of rearing their ugly head at some of the most inopportune times. You should notify the family court judge presiding over your case if you develop a chronic, debilitating or terminal illness that affects your ability to work or limits your financial resources.
How Unemployment May Impact Your Obligation to Make Alimony Payments
Many factors may lead you to lose your job or to become underemployed. Your financial prospects may diminish considerably as a result. Securing a job that pays the same or a second to supplement what you make at the one you have may be easier said than done. You may be able to petition a judge to reduce or eliminate your alimony obligation in such instances.
How a Change in Family Dynamics May Warrant Revisiting Spousal Support Payments
You may also qualify for a reduction or elimination of alimony if you remarry, add children to the mix or take on dependents as a judge is likely to assume that you have more financial responsibilities than you initially did.
Petitioning a Judge for an Alimony Modification Order
Life is often unpredictable. Health, employment and family dynamic situations may evolve considerably during your lifetime. You shouldn’t stop making spousal support payments if you’re struggling to make ends meet. Instead, consult with an alimony attorney right away. A Monmouth County divorce lawyer will be able to guide you in filing a motion to modify your support obligation so that you don’t unnecessarily put yourself in legal hot water.