Can I Modify Alimony As A Result Of Unemployment?

Question:divorce lawyer Carrie Westbrook

In our divorce and child custody agreement, I agreed to pay my wife alimony in the amount of 50% of my earnings for life.

Since the judgment was entered, I have lost my job so I want to modify the amount of alimony to reflect changes in my life situation, my income and my future inability to make these large payments

Even with only one child alimony payments were calculated for a very high monthly payment.

What are the chances of getting the stipulations of my divorce decree modified?


I am not licensed in your state so I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though.

I presume the agreement you made to pay your ex-spouse 50% of your income and earnings was in the context of a spousal maintenance agreement. If so, most states allow you to file a Motion to Modify Spousal Maintenance to change the amount to which you previously agreed.

Each state likely has different qualifications for when such a motion may be filed and under what circumstances, but most would typically require a “substantial change” or a “material change” in your circumstances since the time you entered into the agreement and at least a 10% decrease in the amount of your earnings.

You would likely want to consult an attorney in your state concerning a possible modification so you can be informed of the specifics for your particular state.

I have only provided you with general legal information. For a more in-depth answer and marriage separation advice, you should contact a family law attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Carrie H. Westbrook, an Associate Attorney in the Colorado Springs, Colorado office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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